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Pink & Black | July 26, 2014

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Four Benefits to Rooming with a Stranger

Four Benefits to Rooming with a Stranger
By Candace Hartsuyker

A majority of college students live in a dorm their first two years of college and then decide during their third year to live in an apartment. Once they get an apartment, they often decide to room with a friend. Sometimes rooming with a stranger doesn’t even cross their mind. However, if you’re considering getting an apartment, there are some benefits to rooming with a stranger that should be considered.

You will become more independent. Living with a friend could be fun for a while, but later it might begin to feel like an extended high school sleepover. On the other hand, you don’t want to go from living with your family to living alone and feeling totally helpless. Living with a stranger strikes a nice balance so you can be comfortable, but not too comfortable.

There’s a chance you might meet someone new who becomes your friend for life. If you stay within your tight knit circle of friends, you might never meet them.

Your relationship with your friends will stay the same or even get better by choosing not to live with them. Even though your best friend might be great to hang out with, she might not make a great roommate. Let’s say your friend occasionally “forgets” to pay the rent. What if she never pays so you’re forced to throw her out? She might have hurt feelings and because of this one incident your friendship could be ruined. Unlike a friend, if you’re not compatible with a stranger, you have no personal obligations to keep them as a roommate. There won’t be as many hurt feelings because you haven’t known each other that long anyway.

If you are compatible with a stranger, you might be able to help each other with certain tasks. Maybe you can cook meals on Monday and Wednesday and your roommate can cook meals on Tuesday and Thursday. By splitting the work, you’ll save time and learn cooperation. Don’t expect everything to be perfect though. You and your roommate may have some disagreements over sharing the work but it’ll be good for you. You’ll learn how to compromise, which is a skill you’ll need in the real world.

When rooming with a stranger, use caution. Be picky about who you choose. You might want to check their credit rating or do an Internet search and find out if they have any habits you can’t live with. If something doesn’t seem right, then trust your instincts and move on. There is always the possibility that your roommate could have some serious problems and you’d be better off rooming with a friend. They could also turn out to be an interesting and fun person to hang out with, but you’ll never know unless you give them a chance.

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