While the past year has locked us students up at home and school online, it’s important to keep in mind that lockdown won’t last forever. When it’s finally over, students can look forward to a particularly memorable part of their college experience – and that is, co-living with a roomie.

If you’re new to the co-living experience, you don’t have to worry! Roomies are built-in best friends waiting to happen, as long as you’re willing to put in the work, too! Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience with who will soon go on to become a lifelong friend!

1. Set boundaries with your roomies.

Especially when money is involved, it isn’t the best idea to cross someone you’re going to spend the next few years with. Make sure to keep both yourself and your roomie accountable when it’s time to pay the rent – after all, any missed payments will be on both of you! Anything you borrow, too, like clothes or toiletries like shampoo should either be returned or replaced as soon as possible – especially if the both of you are on a budget.

While it’s important to be upfront (but kind) when you’re starting the what-I’m-okay-with-and-what-I’m-not conversation, you’ll soon pick up on certain habits your roomie may have forgotten to mention as time goes on. If you’re a night owl, for example, and prefer to do your homework at night and your roomie isn’t, let them switch off the lights and switch on your desk lamp instead.

2. Establish shifts for chores.

When it’s time to clean up common areas like the bathroom, the question of who has to clean up for the both of you can get messy. Make sure to establish shifts for chores involving common areas and stick to it to make sure your co-living space gets attention from both of its roomies.

Additionally, grocery shopping duty can be shared to save one of you time and effort. Go over each other’s schedules for the week, especially if you’re both busy college students, and assign who has less on their plate that weekend to do the grocery shopping. Don’t forget to make your roomie a shopping list and compensate them for your items.

3. Clean up after yourself.

Even though you’ve established shared common area duties, it’s important to clean up after yourself, too. Don’t let the dirty dishes you used or the mouthwash you spilled stay there because it isn’t your turn. Outside of the common area, make sure to keep your side of the room neat and clean. While what you do shouldn’t affect your roomie, co-living is all about being considerate, so pitch in and show them you’re doing your part!

While this article was mostly a guide to the rules you should set up to make sure everyone is comfortable in your co-living, your relationship with your roomie is what matters most! Don’t forget to have fun, especially while you’re organizing those get-to-know-you hangouts (or Zoom calls for now). If there’s one thing Rentalbee can guarantee about the student co-living experience, it’s that it will definitely be a wild (although memorable, by all accounts!) ride.