Most of the time when you are in your 20s you end up sharing a space with someone that is not your family. When you’re younger the thought of living with your best friend sounds like an awesome idea and sometimes it is and sometimes it is not at all what you expected. As a therapists for young adults, I wanted to share some tips for having roommates in your 20’s.

Roommates teach you a lot about yourself; how much you enjoy having people be around you and how much you love alone time; how much the dishes in the sink bother you and how clean you are. They teach you that stumbling in the early hours calls for breakfast on the couch or that you need to be more considerate. Roommates show you a lot of things and some of them might be good and some might be a wakeup call that this living arrangement was not good idea. 

Moving out for the first time is shock to the system. We are out of our comfort zone, and we essentially put to the test to fend for ourselves. Part of the exploration if finding other people in the same boat and that is where our lovely roommates come into play. I have had a few roommates in the past, one being random and a few being my friends. There were pros and cons to both of those living situations and I loved and hated them in their own way. Being on my own for the first time was a little scary and I was happy to be with someone who was experiencing the same thing. You bond to your first roommate differently than you bond with your last roommate.

A few things I learned while having roommates in my 20’s:

  1. Make a few ground rules in the first few days of living with each other because after that it will feel awkward to bring up things that you want to change.
  2. If you don’t want something of yours to be used or eaten, it might be best to hide it.
  3. Make time to spend quality time with your roommates. You live with each other, so make the most of it. 
  4. Go grocery shopping with them. It is a bonding experience, and you could maybe split the cost if you’re sharing food.
  5. You will get mad at your roommate at some point and that is ok but try to communicate what the issue is before that elephant in the room gets bigger.
  6. Try to keep in touch with each other after going your separate ways, if it was a good living situation. 
  7. If they borrow your clothes or you borrow theirs try to be good about returning their stuff or you will have a pile of things that aren’t yours and you will be missing a lot of your stuff too.

The list could keep going, but I felt those seemed to come to my head first. Having roommates comes with a lot of ups and downs, but it can also bring you great friendships and great life lessons.

If you’d like to learn more about navigating an new living situation, whether it be roommates or a big move, therapy can be helpful! Reach out to an Atlanta Counselor today to learn more.