Chances are, if you’re a college student, you’ve lived with or currently are living with at least one other person. If you’re used to your own space, your own way and your own set of rules get ready for compromises and change. Living with roommates can be a ton of fun, but at the same time it can be a lot of work, and it’s important to get on the same page from the start to make it the best it can be.

Battle of The Sexes

Let me start off by saying… as a male, living with other males is 100% easier than a female living with other females, and to prevent being yelled at by women I’ll say, in most cases. In my extensive research (asking my girlfriend why living with women is so hard) she summed it up pretty well. “Boys in general are much more upfront about problems and confront each other, whereas girls are very secretive about their anger and what bugs them.” The solution? Talk! A simple “Hey, can you stop playing your tuba while drunk until 3 in the morning” could solve the problem a lot faster than complaining to everyone you know about your roommate behind their back.

Keep It Clean!

Stop for a second and look around your room… does it look like world war three between your clothes, books and trash, or are you a generally clean person?  College students usually think they fall into one of these categories, but are often blown away when they first move in with a stranger who takes cleaning or being messy to a whole new level. To prevent this, set up a chore list from the start using Google Docs, or even a white board on the wall.  This way you aren’t taking out a mountain of garbage after a month or cleaning a bathroom that needs a bio hazard sign on it.

Good Eats

Food is a main component of roommate life, do you share all the food, split the grocery bill, split cabinets and shelves, or hunt for squirrels on campus? This should be one of the first conversations between roommates, and makes life around the house much easier. For my roommate situation, we all eat about the same amount of the same food every week so we take turns buying groceries. It makes it much better to be able to open up the fridge or the pantry and not have to worry about taking someone else’s food.

All About the Money

In most cases, when living outside the dorms, you’re going to have bills to pay. Rent, Water, Power etc… Usually apartment complexes offer separate leases so rent can be paid separately but utilities are a different story. One person will usually have to be the account holder and be the one to open up and pay the bill from their checking account. This means they then have to ask the others for re-imbursement. Whenever finances are involved, friendships can get awkward quickly, and this is where splitwise  comes to the rescue. Splitwise is a App and web service you can set up to easily manage who owes who and who still hasn’t paid a bill yet. Simple to set up and simpler to use, this is my go-to app for roommate money problems.

Apps and Tech

To make living with or looking for roommates easy in the modern age look towards technology! Simple things like sharing Netflix or Hulu service fee’s  to using applications like Splitwise, SettleUp, and OU1  to keep track of who owe money for everything from utilities, to who needs to make the next beer run. Where applications like: ChoreHero  are great for divvying up the work to be done. Lastly, if you’re looking for roommates, sites like roomsurf, roombug and even posting on campus are great ways to find some possible new living partners.

Like I said living with roommates can be tough but this should make it easier! If it doesn’t, read my article next week on how to kill your roommate… kidding. Any other ways you’ve found to make dorm or apartment life easier? Let me know in the comments below!