As I am sure many of you have already lived or are currently living with roommates. When you graduate college and enter adulthood, you have a choice: to roommate or not to roommate? For me, this was a decision which required a lot of thinking. Living with someone can have a drastic impact on your daily psyche and activities. Thus, when making this decision you should make the right one. Hopefully, this narrative will point you in the right direction of what might work for you.
For me, I lived with people throughout my four years in college. To make a long story short, let’s just say I dealt with many unique people: messy people (banana peels in their bed kind of messy), people who watched me sleep, people who stole from me and my roommates, people who sold drugs, and people who were very active (take that as you will). I did have a fair share of good roommates and suite-mates; however, the “memorable” encounters are the ones that stuck with me. To be quite honest, contrary to popular belief, I think the best time to have roommates who give you a hard time is in college and when you are young. Why? It will help develop and mold you to become a better person in the future.
After dealing with all of the people I lived with in college, my patience and tolerance for people who irritated me increased tremendously. I learned it is important to pick your battles when conveying to others what annoys you and what doesn’t. I am a very neat and tidy person, so when there were half eaten boxes of pizza or loose papers on the ground, I would be very, very vocal about it. As time progressed, I stopped bringing it up because it’s not worth creating a fuss over something that trivial. Actually, this ideology of “picking your battles” is something that I incorporate in my daily life as well, whether it be with friends, family, or co-workers. Life is too short to focus on the small stuff when it can easily be mitigated by keeping your mouth shut.
Prior to moving from Long Island to Seattle, I made a pros and cons list of whether I should have a roommate or not. Here was my list:
Having a Roommate:
1. You will save money on rent.
1. I didn’t know anyone in Seattle, thus it would be a big gamble living with someone random. Thus repeating everything that happened to me in college
2. Not having my own place. Not that extensive, but wait till a little later.
3. Repeating everything that happened to me in college.
I guess you can tell which path I went with. I ended up staying alone in a humble sized one bedroom apartment right next to a city town center. This, in turn, made the rent slightly more expensive, but it was definitely worth it. There were restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and gyms all within walking distance. My commute to work was less than 15 minutes. Most importantly I had the place all to myself. I furnished the apartment the way I wanted it. It was great when people came over and complimented me on how well the apartment was furnished and kept. I furnished the apartment just the way I wanted it. It was always really nice when people came over and they complimented me on how nicely the apartment was furnished and kept. It also gave me a sense of personal satisfaction and pride that I was living all by myself and essentially maintaining my own house. I ended up staying in this place for two years to which came a time where it economically did not make sense for a single person to be paying that much money for rent.
Interacting with my new friend group in Seattle, I came to the realization that a lot of them had roommates. Trying to gain some insight, I learned that most of them had “similar” experiences in college dealing with roommates. It occurred to me that for the most part, in college, many kids are immature and still developing. My interaction with these “newly developed” adults made me realize that some people are actually mature now and might not too bad as roommates. Thus, with this newly acquired knowledge, I created a new Pros and Cons list.
1. Save money on rent (That still doesn’t change)
2. People to rant about work to / have engaging conversations with
3. Continue to build that “tolerance and patience”
4. Save money on other expenditures: electricity, gas, heat, water, sewage, trash, food, groceries, cleaning supplies, etc.
5. Always have people to do things with
1. In essence repeating everything that happened to me in college
2. Losing that sense of “having your own place”
3.When family comes over, it becomes slightly awkward having other people in the same apartment
In the end, I decided to go with the roommate option. Through mutual friends, I was connected to two people new to Seattle. We found a nice three bedroom/two bathroom apartment midway between all of our offices. Since I was bringing a lot of the furniture, kitchen items, and other random stuff – I got the master bedroom! Flash-forward to a month later rooming with these people, I am content with my decision.
It was definitely difficult at first and took some time to getting used to; however, it was ultimately a great decision. I am saving quite a hefty amount of money a month in comparison to what I was paying previously. Also, it is indeed nice coming back home from work and having some people to speak and hang out with. As of now, we haven’t gotten into any arguments or issues. It’s funny how the world works, one of the main reasons I chose to live with roommates was to save money; however, I am eating out a lot more and buying more useless junk. Nonetheless, my roommates and I have a good relationship – we teach other different things and have some pretty great discussions about work, life, and other random topics.
So ultimately the decision of whether to roommate or not to roommate is very personal. In my opinion, if you are young and single you should have a roommate for at least the first few years. As mentioned before, you are only going to have this opportunity for a finite amount of time in your life because then eventually you will have a permanent roommate ;).
If you want to have that experience of living by yourself, I would say go for it but only do it for a year. Even if you are working for some crazy company that pays you an exorbitant amount of money, if there is a way you can save money … why not take it? A penny saved, is a penny earned.
Living with roommates as a “newly developed” adult is really advantageous. Acclimatizing to adulthood can be difficult, thus it is really nice to be surrounded by people who are undergoing a similar experience. Sure, you won’t have your own place, but you will be saving money for a down-payment on an even nicer place in the future! One thing that you should really take into consideration when moving anywhere is: location, location, location! Unfortunately, to satisfy everyone’s work distances we had to compromise on location. I realized that I was spoiled at my last apartment; however, the positives equalize the negatives. So now the question you must ask yourself is, to roommate or not to roommate?