9 Lessons You Learn When Living With Craigslist Strangers

Can we all agree that the rent is too damn high? Livin’ alone ain’t cheap, so roommates are a thing after college. Maybe you’re lucky enough to live with a bunch of friends or your sister or someone you actually know. But moving to a new city with no ties to anyone means one of two things: 1) sacrifice basic needs like eating and keeping your apartment at a reasonable temperature in order to afford living alone, or 2) consult a source such as Craigslist to find a reasonably priced room in an apartment.

You find out a lot about yourself, and others, when you immerse yourself in an environment with randos.

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1) No matter how messy or neat you are, there will always be someone messier or neater than you. Make your bed every day? Leave dishes in the sink for weeks? There are all types of people out there. I’ve experienced both. On one end of the spectrum: the floor of the apartment I shared with five guys had a semi-permanent beer stickiness and a constant overflowing garbage can. On the other: if even a fork remained in the sink for more than a few hours, it would be washed, dried, and put away.

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2) The art of being firm but polite. Roommates not paying bills on time? A gentle reminder that the electric bill needs to be paid in order to enjoy luxuries like overhead lights and TVs might be all that’s necessary.

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3) The art of being firm but impolite. Sometimes reminders won’t cut it. Sometimes leaving a passive-aggressive note explaining your hatred for windows being open all night is what you have to do.

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4) No matter how weird you think you are, you are not that weird. I live in a young, college-y neighborhood yet two of my roommates are at least 35 years old. Why would they want to live here? What did they do to end up here? I will never know.

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5) Your room can be your sanctuary. The only place that is not touched (hopefully) by others. It is ALL YOURS. You can do WHATEVER YOU WANT in there.

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6) People make themselves and/or their living situation sound really good on the internet. “Fun, friendly twenty-somethings looking for a fun female roommate to cook dinner and go out with! We love Netflix marathons, wine and baking!” While this may be true, it could also mean, “desperately seeking someone who can pay bills so we don’t have to move out.”

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7) Splitting chores with people who are not your siblings is damn near impossible. No, I will not be taking the trash out every week if you sweep and mop the floors. How about we just clean up our own messes?

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8) Waking up early to claim the shower is key. Otherwise it is topknot and dry shampoo city. Seeing the closed bathroom door and hearing that shower water run for 15+ minutes is  the start of a hellish morning.

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9) It’s still possible you can be friends with your roommates. Maybe you are living the New Girl life. If not? Hey, at least you’re saving some money each month.

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LizWitter

Liz Witter is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she majored in broadcast journalism with a (useless) minor in French. She is originally from Rochester, NY but moved to Boston for a job...then another job. She spends her free time sleeping, going to Sephora or doing crafts. She plays volleyball recreationally and refuses to believe she peaked in high school. She’ll take Tim Hortons over Dunkin, and Wegmans over basically anything. You can follow her on Twitter at @lwitta6.

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