Sacrificing more than space

Photo Credit: Mika Locklear

Whether it’s Callaway or the Castilian, sharing a room with someone reduces costs. But is the money saved worth the trouble? 

There are more benefits to splitting rent with someone than just saving money. Sharing provides company, always giving you someone to talk to or hang out with. Roommates can become best friends given the right conditions. 

But there’s always a risk. Some people end up worst enemies, and friendships can suffer from the decision to rent together. Cleanliness, different social groups and romantic partners are some of the most common issues roommates encounter. 

Different groups of friends can make things awkward, especially if someone wants to have a party or bring their friends back to your place. 

“My roommate and I are still close despite being in different groups,” said business sophomore David Yu. “I have my business council group while he has his liberal arts friends.”

“I find when you’re with your roommate or bringing others back to your place, it’s best to share a group of mutual friends,” Yu said. “Otherwise, go out with those friends or take the party somewhere else. That way nobody’s uncomfortable. Now, if it’s bringing a girl back, that’s a different story.”

Significant others, whether they are romantic partners or one-night stands, can cause a major upheaval in leasing together. This is especially awkward when bedrooms are shared; someone ends up on the couch or floor. Having to put up with a third person you may not know or even like can be a problem, especially when that person is using the shower or eating your food. Romantic partners can feel like uninvited guests. Solutions beyond asking your flat mate to crash on the couch for some privacy do exist, though. 

“There’s a lot you can do to make sure you don’t feel like you’re deciding between your roommate or a girl,” said biochemistry sophomore Mert Erdenizmenli. “Have your partner come over during holidays or weekends, when there aren’t classes your roommates have to get to. Breaks also mean your roommates go home, so you have the whole place to yourself. Now, if it’s someone you might bring back from a party, plan in advance so your roommate isn’t bothered. I know some people’s solution is their couch with a pullout bed.”

Cleanliness, or a lack thereof, can cause roommate issues. It can be small things, from not washing dishes or not picking up after themselves to never helping to clean or your roommate waiting for you to do it. 

“Sometimes, it’s just a total mess, and we kind of live in it until one of us can’t handle it anymore and does something about it,” said biomedical freshman Anita Guthikonda. “Usually I break first, but sometimes my roommate gets in these cleaning moods and cleans the whole apartment.”

With the money saved from splitting the rent, hiring someone to clean can even be an option. If you feel frustrated with the dirty apartment or some other habit, it’s always easiest to bring it up straight away. When people take a passive-aggressive approach, like leaving things dirty to frustrate the other, everyone loses. 

Living with someone means forming a relationship with them, and part of that will always involve letting each other know about any problems you might have with their living habits.