It’s fun to live off-campus with friends that you know from classes or from the dorms, but sometimes it’s difficult to work through problems that you may have living together. The responsibilities and stress of living off-campus has the potential to make or break a friendship, so make sure that you discuss the following topics before you start living together or looking for a house:
- Rent: What’s everyone’s share of the rent? How will the rent get to the landlord every month? (REMEMBER: If you all share a lease, you ALL are liable for any rent that one roommate doesn’t pay.)
- Living Spaces: Who wants which bedrooms? Who wants to share a room?
- Chores: Consider making a chore schedule so everyone’s doing a fair share!
- Food: Will you share food costs or keep everything separate?
- Noise: Do some of your potential roommates like it quieter? Louder?
- Guests: Under what conditions are guests allowed in the house?
Overall, make sure to talk about any opinions that you have about these topics BEFORE you live together. It’s a little awkward to talk about these things when everything’s fine, but it’ll go a long way to help constructively and compassionately handle disputes when they (inevitably) happen.
Owning a pet can be an incredibly meaningful experience, and it is important to remember that you are making a committment to take care of that animal for its entire life! Before you make that committment as a student, here are a few things to consider, courtesy of the Whatcom Humane Society.
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