Here are five guidelines I’ve learned while sharing a suite in college. Whether you’re in a suite with multiple people or just have one roommate, these tips will come in handy!
1. Set Rules
The first and probably most important thing to do with the people you’re living with, whether that’s a single roommate or suite mates, is to set rules and boundaries. Put things out in the open so that arguments are less likely to get out of control later down the line. For example:
- Whether you prefer morning or night showers.
- When it’s okay to have visitors and how much time in advanced warning to give each other.
- If and how food and personal items should be shared.
- Whether outdoor shoes are allowed to be worn in the bathroom.
2. Take Time to Spend Time
Whether you’re best friends with your suite mates or not, it’s important to take the time to not be strangers, and to continue to get to know each other. Whether that entails going out, ordering takeout and eating together, or watching a Netflix marathon is up to you guys. Maintaining a good relationship with your suite mates and creating a comfortable environment to share feelings is a key to making living in the same space so much easier and enjoyable!
3. Clean Up After Yourself
Make sure you don’t leave a trail or crumbs in the common room or scatter your hygiene products all over the bathroom counter. Being respectful of your suite mates’ space sets a precedent for them to do the same for you.
4. Group Chat
Create a group chat on your phone or on Facebook. This open line of communication saves you all time, and makes living with so many people so much less of a hassle! Sharing simple plans through text (like when you’ll be taking a shower or going to get food at the dining hall) will allow you to all be aware of what you’re up to and prevent conflicts.
5. Always Ask
Whether that’s asking if it’s okay to steal the bathroom for a half hour to take a shower or if it’s okay to have a friend stay the night, it’s always a smart – and considerate – idea to check if it’s okay with your suite mates. The more you make an effort to respect their privacy they’ll respect yours, and you can avoid miscommunications by making sure to get the thumbs up from your suite mates. When in doubt, ask.
Overall, living in a suite is a lot of fun whether it’s a suite of four people or eight. As long as you’re respectful of each other, having a suite can be a real advantage and a great opportunity to form a close group of friends that are likely to last a lifetime.