Things to consider when choosing whom to share an apartment with

There isn’t a major life decision that doesn’t require deep scrutiny. Part of what makes us human is the ability to be radical. We are not animals, we just don’t rush into things without having to think first. Be it what to wear, what career/business path to follow, where and what to study, where to live and even what to eat.

There are factors that need to be put into consideration.

Take choosing a roommate for example. I’d compare it to choosing a life partner. This is someone you’re going to spend a whole lot of time with; sleeping near, sharing space and sharing a life together. Whether it’s a total stranger or your bosom buddy, you just don’t allow them into your space without a few considerations.

A roommate is someone who has the potential to ruin or make your life, and below is a list of factors to consider when choosing one;

1. Trust

If you’re gonna share an apartment with someone, it should be with someone you trust. Become a detective. Find out what kind of person they are, ask around and even ask for referees if need be, because you just might put up with a serial killer or a thief.

2. Bills

Before you have someone over, you should discuss money. Let everyone mention their capability so as to decide who caters for what bill; rent, electricity, water etc. Are you going to cost share or are you going to assign a certain bill to either one of you? And this should be put on paper. This is an important factor to eliminate any future differences in cases of late payment or total absconding.

3. Cleanliness

There is nothing that tears a friendship faster than cleaning up after another. Untidy people are simply intolerable. Nobody likes to come home to the smell of dirty dishes and laundry or picking up dirty socks in the living room. It is important to live with someone who is responsible for their own property and tidy as well because at the end of the day you just wanna come home to a clean and organized space. It’s therapeutic.

4. Sleeping habits

I think it’s important to ask about sleeping patterns and habits. Sleep is important. Imagine sharing a space with someone who snores, or sleep-talks or sleep-walks. It can be annoying. You could be used to sleeping early and waking up early or late, and there comes someone with insane insomnia. They want to work throughout the night or watch movies then sleep in the wee hours of the morning. This can greatly affect your sleeping pattern hence messing you up psychologically.

5. Love life

Does your potential roommate have a partner or are they dating?  Maybe you are the one with an active love life. It is important to discuss this so as you don’t interfere with each other’s space and eventually ruining things for either of you. There should be ground rules set on how to go about your love life without abusing each other’s kindness and personal space.

6. Schedule

Whether working or studying, having different schedules should be key. You cannot have the same schedules because it will mean that you will always be together, giving room for frequent conflicts and eventually you will get tired of each other. Imagine always being together, suffocating right?

7. Communication

Before becoming rroommates there should be communication. Freely and without fear. If something alarms you, say it. If you sense something off, don’t be afraid to say it. Even after putting up, communication is key. It’s just like any other relationship. Both parties should be able to communicate when they are uncomfortable with something when they feel sick when they are staying up late or staying somewhere else when they are wronged and even when they feel that it’s time to move out.

If it were up to us, we could live alone and drown in the warm feeling of the luxury that is having our own space all to ourselves. As someone who thrives in peace and solitude, I would love to have my own place. But sometimes things don’t always work out as planned.

Sometimes finances hit us hard. And sometimes we would love to live with our buddies or people we know, but then we get stuck with total strangers. It’s always good to be positive. If you consider the above factors, you should be able to live a smooth life, and who knows, you may end up forming a long-lasting and meaningful friendship.

Happy roommate hunting!

Written by: Michelle Nzilani ( Actuate Digital, Blogger)