In the current economy, many college students can’t afford to live alone. Roommates hold the potential to reduce rent costs and create the possibility of making or becoming closer with friends. However, roommates can also cause stress and make a living situation unfortunate.
Deciding who to live with can be a stressful and daunting task for many. There are factors to consider when making this decision, including deciding whether or not to with live with a random person or a close friend and what to expect when living with either option.
MaeBeth Fisher, community assistant and current resident at The Lofts apartment complex, believes when deciding to live with potential or current friends, it is important to be aware of their personalities and daily routines in order to find out whether or not living with them is the right choice.
Finding out if a person smokes, has pets or a hectic work schedule early on can save a lot of headaches and worry in the future, Fisher said.
"You want to live with someone who shares the same sort of lifestyle you do," Fisher said.
Corianna Cavitt, leasing agent for Copper Beech apartment complex, described what she personally looks for in a roommate.
"I like someone who has genuine respect for other people and their things," Cavitt said.
The most common problem Cavitt said she sees among roommates is when roommates don’t pick up after themselves, leaving the mess for someone else to clean.
Other common complications Cavitt and Fisher have seen witnessed include throwing parties at unwanted times in the apartment and allowing general differences of living standards to cause issues with one another.
Matt Kaufman, a sophomore at WVU, experienced some of the common complications of living with others. According to Kaufman, his living condition during his freshman year was sometimes horrible.
Kaufman said his former roommate gave off an authoritative arrogance that made him come across as extremely unfriendly and selfish. He and his former roommate hardly ever conversed with one another, making being in the dorm room together stressful.
"It really upset me," Kaufman said. "He just gave off an attitude I couldn’t connect with."
Due to fear of upsetting his former roommate, Kaufman said he never confronted his roommate about what was bothering him.
"I didn’t want to make him angry or make things awkward," Kaufman said.
Now, Kaufman lives with a roommate he connects with and trusts.
"He’s (his new roommate) a thousand times better," Kaufman said.
Issues with roommates can make students dread going to the place that is supposed to be a safe haven.
Cavitt described what she thinks is the best way to go about resolving problems that commonly arise when living with differing personalities.
"It’s best to have the entire house sit down together to decide what’s going on and what the possible solutions are," Cavitt said.
Fisher agreed with this method and said putting off confronting roommates can sometimes make matters worse.
"(You) definitely want to talk to them if something is bothering you," Fisher said. "If you talk to them about it, then it will be easier to come up with a solution to the problem."
While there are a number of professional roommate-matching services, the vast majority of students pick roommates themselves, either by reaching out to personal networks or by taking a chance with fate and living with a random person. When looking for one or multiple people to move in with, a little bit of planning goes a long way.