Advice For Living With Roommates

Five Rowan students posing and smiling outside on campus

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate from Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

Since I’ve lived with roommates for all four years of college, I feel like I experienced a lot. There are going to be times when you feel like it’s the greatest thing in the world and then other times when you want to pull your hair out. However, I am lucky enough that I am best friends with my roommates, so even when conflict arises it is usually something we eventually laugh about. 

One of my first tips is to be prepared for a lot of sharing. Especially if you’re the roommate who has the best clothes. In my case I am that roommate. I didn’t think I would be the one that everyone wants to borrow from but my closet gets raided by at least two roommates whenever we are getting ready to go out. The important thing to remember here is to have patience and to keep track of who takes what.

My roommates and I outside of our house together.
Melanie (lower left) lived off campus with roommates her senior year.

Next, make sure that everyone does their part when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. My roommates and I developed a weekly chore list and everyone gets a task for the week. For example, taking out the trash, cleaning the floors or cleaning the bathrooms. Although we still argue at times when the kitchen is left a mess or the drain gets clogged this where more patience comes in because with six people in one house messes are for sure going to pile up. 

Another pro tip is to have house meetings. With six girls living together who are all very vocal with their opinions it is important to get everything out in the open at one time. No one likes having conflict in their house especially when it’s the place you come home to after a long day of classes or other activities.  

My last tip is something that I have realized over the years. Don’t sweat the small stuff because this is a time of life where you’re supposed to be having fun and enjoying your time with the people around you. Sometimes my roommates will walk downstairs with my clothes on and say, “Oh by the way I’m gonna borrow this.” Other times we argue over things like who left all the lights on or who let their garbage pile up without taking it outside. In reality these things are small issues that can be easily talked out.

Melanie poses with her roommates

I have become the type of person who lets a lot of things slide without saying anything because I think about whether it’s really something that bothers me in the long run and usually the answer is no. I think this can be good to an extent but if something is really getting on your nerves don’t let it keep happening; otherwise, you’re going to let it all build up and just explode one day. Talk things out, keep yourself grounded and remember the important thing is to enjoy your time living with your best friends while you can. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising graduate