Everyone’s roommate experiences will differ. Some people have roommates that they build lifelong bonds with, while others have hated their roommates. However, whether you have had good roommates or bad ones, all of these experiences have taught you valuable life lessons. These lessons will teach you things about yourself, as well as hone various skills that you will use throughout your life. This post will illustrate many of these lessons and show why we recommend that everyone live with a roommate at least once in their lives.
1) You will learn to value personal space and your belongings more
When you live by yourself or even with your family, there is a good chance that you have a decent amount of personal space for you and your belongings. However, when you live with a roomie, this all goes away. You must learn to co-exist in a relatively small space with someone else, and there is a good chance you will be using each other’s things from time to time as well. While this can be a tad annoying at times, it will teach you to never take your personal space for granted in the future and it will make you value your things and space so much more. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the things we have in our lives until they are taken away from us or tested.
2) You will have increased responsibilities
While some people have responsibilities at home, many parents nowadays don’t make their children do much of anything in the form of chores, housework, or other duties. While most teens love this, it really is hurting them in the long run as they are not learning responsibility. When you have a roomie, you will be responsible for certain things and it is a great way to learn responsibility and be able to take care of yourself. In addition to this, having a roommate is a great way to take baby-steps before living by yourself, or living with a significant other. If you, further down the road, decide to live by yourself, all of the cleaning, shopping, and other chores are up to you. At least when you had a roommate the duties were split between the both of you.
3) You will learn how to work as a team
While most of us think of working as a team relating to a job or school, that isn’t always the case. Working well with others is something that everyone should be well versed at, but of course, not everyone is. Living with a roommate can be a great way to work on these teamwork skills without even knowing it. Collaborating with your roommate and working together on anything from shopping to building a new piece of furniture can help you be a better team-player going forward. This can make you more social, more empathetic, and just an overall better person that people want to work with or be around.
4) It is a good “stepping stone” before living solo or with a significant other
As mentioned briefly earlier in the post, having a roommate is an exceptional way to prepare you for eventually living on your own. Instead of being completely responsible for everything including cooking, cleaning, shopping, buying furniture and more, you will only have to do about half of that. It is a great “middle ground” in the transition from living at home with zero responsibilities to living alone with every responsibility falling directly on your shoulders. Also, living with a roommate can also help prepare you to live with a significant other. If you move in with your significant other before ever having a roommate, you might not know how to co-exist with another person in a small space all day every day, which could end up ruining a perfectly good relationship.
5) It will teach you problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
Resolving conflicts and solving problems is a skill that many of us will use hundreds and hundreds of times throughout their lives. Whether at work, with your SO or with friends, conflicts arise, and we have to know how to approach them when they do. Well, one of the best ways to learn how to deal with conflicts is to live with a roommate. Despite our best efforts, some problems will arise when you have a roomie and discussing them with each other is great practice for the future. Communication is key to life, and living with a roommate will also help you in other areas of communication such as being social with others, small talk and might even help you become a better listener.
6) Having a roommate will teach you how to compromise
When it comes to any relationship, whether it is romantic or simply a friendly relationship between roommates, it is about compromise. You have to give a little to get a little. If you live on your own, you never have to compromise, which can get your skills in that department a bit rusty. If you live with a roomie, you will be well versed in the area of making compromises and you know that you can’t get your way all the time. This doesn’t mean you should be a doormat and let them do whatever they want all the time, but it is finding a happy medium so you are both satisfied with the agreement.