Hello my name is Mac, and I live with seven other people.
I have had a plethora of bad living situations. I've gone from sharing a 7'x12' room with a girl who had bipolar disorder and didn't know it, to a large apartment of my own which I shared with a multitude of creepy-crawlies.
Right now, I live with two graduating college students, a teacher's assistant, a day bartender, an assistant field director of a canvassing company, one part time student, and a dude who works at a Cuban restaurant. Understandably, things can get a little crazy at our house sometimes.
I have learned a lot about what "being a good roommate" means. Or rather, what it takes from me to be a good roommate. Here are some of the things that have been helpful to me:
+COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION.+
This is a big one. Don't just assume everyone's on the same page as you with everything. Have a discussion with them. Try to do it in person, even if it feels uncomfortable. It's better to take care of things face to face, rather than letting them bubble up in your system until you explode. If something's bothering you, talk about it. If you're grateful someone's been taking out the trash a lot, talk about it. If you're about to change your schedule and you need a little acquiescence, talk about it. Don't expect everyone to just know what's on your mind.
+COMMON AREAS ARE FOR EVERYONE+
So keep your s*^t in check. Make a conscious effort to clean up after yourself, and keep your things together. Don't just assume that you just ~get a certain area. If someone else isn't really on the same page with you on this, TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT.
+GIVE AND TAKE+
Our house is awesome. We have a dishwasher and a washer/dryer, which allows for total laziness. Sometimes I'm *that guy* who leaves my dishes in the sink. Knowing this, when I have a free moment, I try and load everything into the dishwasher. I feel really lucky that on the rare occasion I leave my business in the sink, someone will usually take care of it. I know that people have my back, so I try and do the same. This is going to be different for every place you live, so talk with everyone to set a precedent. If people have your back, try your best to do the same.
+IS IT WORTH IT?+
This one is more along the lines of "pick your battles". Let's say you live with a bunch of young 20-somethings. It's a weekend, and a group of them come home stumbling drunk or in some sort of cacophonous rage. You are minding your own business, unwindulaxing in your bed / doing something else, and their sudden presence is really killing your vibes.
Here are some things to take into consideration before approaching them about it:
-Is this a common behavior that irritates you, or a one-off situation? If it happens to be the latter, depending on your roommates, it may be best to let it slide.
-Do you have anything pressing you need to take care of the following day that their behavior is preventing you from accomplishing? If you have an early shift you need to be on top of, (or something else that requires your attention) asking them to keep it down would be totally appropriate.
-Do YOU ever come home stumbling drunk or in a cacophonous rage? If so, it may be time to engage in the give half of give and take.
By all means, if something is legitimately causing you extreme frustration, it's best to bring it up. However, if it's causing you momentary discomfort mayyyyy be best to let it go.
The take home message here is TALK ABOUT IT. Be open. It may be uncomfortable it first, but I PROMISE it will be better in the long run.
Also, here's a nice picture of me just for s&gs.