A lot of young people can’t afford an apartment alone, especially in big cities, so it’s becoming more and more common for them to share an apartment with a roommate or roommates. Some people prefer to live with their best friend, but that’s not always the case. Many people prefer having strangers as roommates to living with a friend or a sibling.
Being roommates with your best friend has its pros and cons. For some people, the pros outweigh the cons, but others do not want to risk losing their friend due to petty fights over annoying habits, money issues and spending too much time around each other. Sharing an apartment with a stranger has a number of surprising benefits.
#1. You get out of your comfort zone and learn to communicate and compromise. Your best friend knows all your quirks and understands you perfectly. That’s really great, but you need to get used to the fact that most people won’t understand you the same way your closest friends do. When you share an apartment with a stranger, you learn to respect other people’s boundaries and set your own, not to keep silent when something bothers or annoys you, have house rules spelled out clearly, etc.
#2. You get a chance to expand your social network. When you live with your best friend, you hang out with them all the time and don’t get to meet new people because you have no motivation to. But if you decide to live with strangers, you will inevitably meet new people. First, you have to get along with your roommates, second, at some point you get to meet their friends, significant others, etc. Remember that you don’t have to become friends with your roommates, but you should at least get along well.
#3. You learn how to be friendly with people without being friends with them. This paragraph follows from the previous one. Most often, sharing a living space with someone comes down to maintaining a polite and respectful relationship with a person or people you barely know. You need to be cordial and friendly with your roommates without becoming too invested in each other’s lives. It is a valuable skill that you can use in a variety of social situations when you need to be likeable but at the same time keep your distance from other people.
#4. You’ll have no qualms about moving out. One day you will move out to live on your own, or to move in with your significant other, or for some other reason. When you share an apartment with your best friend, moving out may seem like a betrayal. It probably won’t ruin your friendship, but it can put a strain on it. But when your roommates are just your roommates, moving out is easier. Just warn them in advance so that they can find a new roommate on Craigslist.
The bottom line is, sharing an apartment with a stranger has its own benefits just like living with a friend. Living with a friend can be great, but your roommate does not have to be your friend for you to be happy with your living arrangement.
- 6 Tips for Getting Along With Your College Roommate, Pros and Cons of Being Roommates With Your Sibling, How to Handle Making Less Money Than Your Friends, How to Handle Making More Money Than Your Friends