Roommates can suck.
If you pick the wrong ones, you are stuck with them for a year at minimum, barring any dramatic changes mid-school year.
I have had the same housemates for two straight years, and we were roommates in the same dorm three years ago. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. When I asked them to be in the house to take a picture for this story, they all showed up in blazers without telling me strictly for the joke.
But would I switch them out? Never. And there are reasons why I think they make good housemates for me.
First of all, the humor has to match. Everyone has incredibly different ideas of what they think is funny, and my house just happens to have the weirdest, most oddly-specific brand of humor that works to make every conversation a trip.
Find a person, or a group of people, with whom you share similar humor. Otherwise buttons will be pushed and jokes will lead to awkward silences no one ever wants.
Second, pick roommates who will speak up if there are issues. Obviously, my house has had complaints about cleaning, leaving lights on, taking someone else’s food and a variety of other things. But we acknowledge these issues and don’t get absurdly angry about any of them.
Everyone will have issues, and everyone will forget something, but as long your roommates are upfront without being overly aggressive, these problems can all stay minor.
Third, be open to whomever, and make sure to be the solution instead of the problem for selecting roommates. As long as you are actively making an effort to help out, listen to your roommates and even just hang out with them, you will contribute to a growing chemistry between one another.
That sounds cheesy, but avoiding the problem of disliking a roommate will not make it better, and hanging out with them could go a long way into making it a friendship instead of a rivalry.
Finally, and most importantly, be roommates with people you think you’d enjoy to be around at all times. Listen to the rules I said before, or don’t — they don’t matter nearly as much as your judgment regarding who you can live with for at least a year.
There have been days when my housemates have aggravated me beyond belief. I’m sure they will find a way to mock me for this very story, but I wouldn’t trade them for anybody.
Picking roommates is tough, and sometimes good candidates can be terrible people with whom to live. But as long as you think about whom you can tolerate and even enjoy living closely with for a year, you should have minimal problems down the line.