It’s my last semester at college. I am living in a house with 3 other girls, and have discovered a lot about my own housing preferences and practices, and housing at Saint Michael’s College in general. Here are some of my thoughts about living situations thus far!
If you are an underclassman thinking longingly of the day when you will live in a townhouse, consider carefully. (If you want to cook often, don’t live in the 200’s series. The kitchens are tiny.)
Moving into an apartment or townhouse can be a rewarding, independent experience. It’s also hard to get used to how other people live, and the tendencies they have developed all of their lives, when you yourself have different practices and habits. The ability to live with other people is important in our society. Chances are, you’ll be living with people for a few years even after college, and you don’t want to be “that” person who gets kicked out or can’t find a roommate because of bad habits.
Kitchen etiquette in any shared living situation requires communication. If you don’t want your food gone, let it be known. If you want to have communal items, make sure everyone pitches in for them! Sometimes I feel unreasonably selfish when I buy myself things and label them or put them in my own little cupboard, but it shouldn’t make me feel that way. We can’t have every meal together, and if we did, we’d all go nuts.
Cleaning is another thing to get used to. Mom’s not here to pick up after you; figure it out before your roommates get annoyed. If you have a single room, keep your mess confined to that personal space. Even if you are BFF’s with your roommates, some things absolutely need discussion—like who cleans the kitchen, or the bathroom, and how often.
My townhouse didn’t really make an effort to schedule those things, and while I like to keep the kitchen clean and everyone occasionally vacuums the main room, the bathroom last semester was continually dusty and splattered with makeup and fake blood and who knows what else. This semester we’ve been a lot better about making a schedule and keeping to it. It can be harder than it sounds, unless you simply don’t procrastinate or dread it and just get it over with. It takes less than 10 minutes every day to keep your space tidy, whether it involves spraying down the shower, taking out the trash, or washing your dishes accumulated during the day. It’s much more pleasant afterwards, too!