Consider the pros and cons before signing a lease with friends

Although living with friends in college may seem like the best idea ever, there can be problems with boundaries and privacy.

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After an entire year of sharing a tiny dorm room, students finally have the freedom to live anywhere and with anyone they want. It seems like the perfect opportunity to rent an apartment downtown or a house in East Campus with some friends. Signing a lease can definitely be exciting, but moving in with friends can present some unexpected problems. However, living with your friends is still worth it because most of these problems can easily be solved.

Potential issues

The biggest issue that can result from living with friends is the lack of boundaries and privacy. Friends, especially long-time ones, can have limited boundaries with each other because they have a close relationship. This lack of boundaries between friends can worsen if they live together. Since a friendship is so strong, it can be hard to get some privacy from each other. For example, one roommate may think it is okay to barge into another room without knocking.

Living with friends can also mean living with people that share similar personalities, which can lead to a number of problems. Everyone may have the same level of cleanliness, which can lead to a pile up of messes. It would be worse, however, to have one roommate be the clean freak. Then that roommate probably could resent the others for their messes and having to clean them up.

Most issues between roommates can be resolved with a simple conversation. Between friends, it should be especially easy to communicate with each other and solve problems. Roommates should be in agreement with how much space they may or may not need. Also, there should be a solid arrangement on cleaning and organizing the living space between all of the roommates. Having set agreements and rules will help to prevent future conflicts.

With random roommates, simple conversations about house rules may be a lot harder to initiate. To avoid potential problems here, try to set some ground rules at the beginning of the semester such as always cleaning up personal messes and respecting each other’s personal space and study times.

Potential benefits

While living with friends can come with problems, there are perks as well. Undoubtedly, the greatest benefit of living with friends is that there is always someone to hang out with. If you’re ever bored, all you have to do is poke your head into your friend’s room.

Another benefit of living with friends is that it strengthens relationships. Constantly being with someone is one way to improve your bond with them. Living with someone can reveal so much: their likes, dislikes, habits and personality.

Finally, living with friends is great because they are always there when you need them. Living with friends means no more late-night phone calls for advice because they are only a door away. Also, they are available for any last-minute outfit suggestions or homework help.

Living with best friends can definitely have its ups and downs, but it is an experience everyone should have, and there’s no better time to do it than in college.

Edited by Claire Colby | ccolby@themaneater.com

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