|These tips could save you from Leighton.|
I’m graduating from college this month (finally!) and am moving into the big city to start my grown-up life and my grown-up job. Naturally, I need to find an apartment that suits my needs. While price, bedroom size, and location are all important factors in considering a place to live, I have come to realize that roommate choice may just be the most essential.
Living with other people is tough. Growing up, you’re forced to live with your parents and siblings, and even family co-habitation can be a nightmare. I have lived with my current roommate for the last two years. We started out as best friends, we did everything together, and so naturally, we decided to become roommates. I’m sure some of you Love Twenty readers are shaking your heads, because most people know becoming roommates with your best friend is almost always the kiss of death for your friendship. My situation was no different, our friendship started to whittle away until we were left with awkward silences and passive-aggressive post-it notes over a sink of dirty dishes. After months of an obviously uncomfortable situation, my roommate knocked on my door and asked, “So, where are we living next year?”
So what’s a girl to do? Grin and bear it, and sign another year-long lease with my once great girlfriend? Or remove myself from the situation and try to salvage any friendship we might have left? With great nerve, I confessed I no longer wanted to continue our living arrangement. I saw a look of intense disappointment on her face, one that saw our entire friendship flash before her eyes. I tried to soothe her, ensuring her that it would make us better friends in the long run, which in roommate language is a ‘Its not you, its me’ type of line. Needless to say, we didn’t speak for a while.
I’ve since found another roommate and so has she. We are slowly returning to being the friends we once were, but that wound will never fully heal. Lucky for you, you can learn from my mistake if you follow these steps:
1. Before you move in with your best friend, understand exactly what you are getting into. The cons outweigh the pros in this particular situation. Living with people changes your relationship. Case and point: why I get along better with my mother now that I have moved out!
2. Be honest with yourself before you sign a lease. Something that only slightly annoys you now will be giving you headaches and anxiety attacks in a year.
3. Write down a list of your needs. Do you need a true two-bedroom apartment? How about your own bathroom? Would you be ok to live with pets? These are questions you need to ask before starting your search for a roommate. Find someone who has a similar list and you will find greater success.
4. Shop. Apartments – especially in New York City – are hard to come by, especially for a soon-to-be college grad with a limited budget. Don’t be afraid to look around and spend some time hunting for your perfect spot. You won’t regret it! (I couldn’t get through this article without referencing Friends, and one of their lovely NYC apartments shown to the left-if only living with your best friends was that easy and fun!)
My last nugget of wisdom from this experience is that living with other people is a wonderful way to grow and mature. Roommates can enrich your life and living experience, especially when you live in a big, bad city like New York. Just make sure you find a good match before you sign that lease!
♥AUTHOR: CLAIRE McGOVERN