Friends or Strangers: The Roommate Question
Millions of young adults move out of their parents homes every year, and many of them can not afford to live on their own and look for roommates. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether or not to move in with a friend or to get a roommate from the paper or internet. I have also added some of my own experiences from when I lived with my two former best friends.
Personal Space and Privacy:
Moving in with a friend over a stranger means you will have almost no privacy, friends have a tendency to wan to hang out especially when you door is shut and you just want to be alone, but a stranger will usually respect your privacy by not bothering you unless it is something important. Friends will also assume it is ok to borrow things from you without asking be it food in the fridge or your toe nail clippers from on top of your dresser.
When I lived with my best friends they were constantly eating my things, and when I said something to them their reply was well it has been in the fridge for a day or 2 so I did not know you wanted it, because apparently I always buy groceries that I do not want to eat, and god forbid you lock your door so your roommates cant go onto your room because it is an insult that you don't trust them to stay out of your room.
When living with a roommate you found in the news paper or on the internet, the person will be more considerate to you then a friend may be when it comes to paying the bill. A friend may ask you to pay it and they will pay you back in "just a few days", but a stranger will not burden you with this. They will make sure they have the money to pay the bills.
One of my friends would always spend his rent or bill money in online casinos playing blackjack, or in poker rooms online. I like to play some poker online just as much as anyone else but I always made sure to not gamble in an online casino with my rent money. If I was short on money I would not gamble, but I would never allow myself to not have the money to pay my share of the bills.
Cleaning of the Shared Spaces:
In the past roommates I had found in the news paper always made sure that any space we shared like the kitchen or living room was kept clean. If you cooked something any mess was cleaned from the counter and pots, pans and plates would be put in the sink and were taken care of within 12 hours, but friends may take advantage of the slack you will give to a friend, because they know you would be ok with it.
One friend of mine hated anything being left in the sink for any amount of time and if it was left fore more then an hr or 2 she would complain, so me and my other roommate started cleaning the dishes as soon as we were done with them, only to find that she would leave her dishes sometimes for days and when questioned about it she said that her seeing our dishes bothered her but her dishes did not bother her so it was ok for her to leave them.
Friends will take liberties with electrical usage that strangers usually will not take. When I lived with strangers if we ha an agreement to only use the AC for an hr before bed then they would usually stick to the agreement, but friends will break the agreement because you are friends and you will understand.
When I have lived with friends I would constantly come home and find my roommates using the dryer even though we agreed only 1 usage a week per roommate, and the worst was how often I would come home to find the AC on in one of the bedrooms and no one is even home. This is a very common way for friends to take advantage of one another.
These are just some of the many reasons you should avoid living with friends, especially if you want to keep them as friends. It is one thing if a friend needs a place to stay for a week or two but never ever let them move in.
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