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The fright of a roommate

Who is in my house?

Candace Leilani, Staff Reporter

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It’s 2 a.m., the moon shines through the sheer curtains of a quiet apartment. The only sound is the slow, shallow breathing of its sleeping inhabitant. A loud noise comes from the other room as someone makes their way into the apartment. The sleeping inhabitant, startled awake, reaches for a loaded shotgun under the bed. With a finger on the trigger, the inhabitant creeps down the hall. As the shotgun cocks, the startled intruder shouts out, “It’s just me, your roommate!”

College students who live with a roommate consists of only 23 percent of students, according to Multifamily Executive, a magazine and online publication website that provides a variety of information or solutions for owners, housing developers and builders. Of the 80 percent of students that live off campus, it is only a miniscule issue then of finding out if students live with their parents, with roommates or alone.

Whether a student moves out on their own or with roommates, it is a matter of money or convenience for people to live together. When moving in with anyone, there are a few “ground rules” that are vital for a successful experience: communication, respect and accepting things that are uncontrollable.

With these ideas in mind, Danielle Page, a writer for Huffington Post, wrote an article about how one can live with the opposite sex. With a deep, heart-to-heart chat, moving in with anyone is possible, according to Page.

She adds, each person needs to communicate what they expect, respect the other’s opinion and needs, and talk through everything from personal habits to what things are annoying to the other.  

Page cited Laurel House, a dating and empowering coach, to express the importance of discussing everything before moving in together.

Address your daily habits, from what time you wake up to when you prefer to do chores, as well as how late you stay up,” House told the Huffington Post. “Talk about dishes, groceries, friends, sound levels, bathroom usage (if you are sharing one), and bill paying. Be honest with yourself and with your roommate about your habits, what annoys you, and what you do that might annoy them.”

House has a website for coaching services.

Addison Schneider, IU Southeast biology senior, said she has been planning on moving in with her fiancé for over a year. The day will arrive next month when they will be able to move in together.

Schneider said she has been working on what will be necessary for them to make the move a reality. She said she has already found something to work on with her fiancé, a  guy she said lives his life spontaneously, rather than planned like Schneider.

Since they have been spending weekends together at her parents’ place, Schneider and her fiancé have some experience living together.

“I hoped that he would want to spend every second with me, but he doesn’t,” Schneider said. “He spends time with me but also wants to play his PlayStation with his friends online and sleep. Getting him to pick up cups and trash he leaves sitting around my room is a large issue.”

Schneider and her fiancé have found ways to work through disagreements that may arise.

“We talk them out and see how we can fix it or compromise on what we both want,” Schneider said.

Schneider said she hopes moving in together might be great, but she knows with compromise, communication and careful planning, they will turn out alright on their own.

“You can’t make everything about you when you’re sharing a space with someone,” Schneider said. “You can’t get mad if they do something differently then you do. You definitely have to be able to compromise and talk things out.”

Ashlea Neafus, an online student at DeVry University, has been living with her Airforce husband for four years.

“I had hoped we would get into a routine, cleaning, cooking and such but I ended up doing the bulk of it at first,” Neafus said. “But in the 4 years we’ve been together he’s gotten better and helps more now. So the biggest issue we had and still sometimes have today is him not picking up after himself. Or I’ll work all night and come home and he’ll expect me to clean. He’s getting better but it’s still annoying.”

Her situation is different since they were already married before she started college, but the ideology of living with a significant other still applies. She still hoped for help around the house, but it was through communication and patience that got them through tough situations and arguments in amidst their time married to one another.

Some advice Neafus gave to those thinking about moving in with their significant other is this: “Be patient. Never go to bed mad. Communication is key. Things aren’t always ice cream and cake, relationships are hard work, you can’t give up when it’s hard.”

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The fright of a roommate