Though the situations seem a lot alike, having a roommate in a college dorm and living with someone in the real world can be two completely different situations. When you don’t have class all day, eat in a dining hall and have everything at your fingertips, apartment life can get a bit, well, annoying.
I lived at home throughout my college career and was in for a bit of a shock when I moved in with a couple of friends from college after graduation.
Luckily, our friendship has survived the ordeal, but I think not renewing our lease was a wise decision. Here are three major areas we never really discussed before moving day that, given the chance, I’d go back and change.
1. Paying the Bills
All of your names are likely to be on the lease and you should be able to pay separately but other bills like cable, water, and electric will usually be in one person’s name. Decide which of you wants to be responsible for making sure they get paid on time each month.
The smartest option is for the person with the best credit to apply for services; some companies will waive deposits and fees if they feel you are a low credit risk. Be mindful of dates and pay bills on time to avoid credit dings. There’s nothing worse than getting a text message asking for your credit card number so that your roommate can pay your half of a bill she forgot to tell you was due yesterday.
Your apartment doesn’t have to pass a white glove inspection, but if you’re a bit of a slob and your roommate is a neat freak or vice versa, be considerate of one another. Being an adult entails cleaning up your own messes. Don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink, and if you make a mess in the living room, it will only take about five minutes to vacuum.
Also, if each of you does a little bit every day, there’s no need for a weekly or monthly all-day cleaning spree.
Life after graduation doesn’t always include a 9-5 job. You may have to keep that retail job for a while or struggle with unemployment until you can put your degree to use. If you have a different schedule from your roommate, invest in a good set of earplugs.
Apartment walls are thin and even the most considerate of roommates is likely to make some noise while getting ready. I had a job that included nights and weekends and without fail, at 8am every weekday, my roommate was up grinding coffee right outside my bedroom. I bought a whole pack of earplugs and was finally able to sleep through it.
Dana Viktor is the senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology. Her current focus for the site involves the Chinese baby calendar and the menstruation cycle.