8 Life Skills You Gain From Having A Roommate, Whether You Love Them Or Hate Them

Since graduating from college three years ago, I've had a total of six roommates, not including relatives I’ve stayed with for months at a time in between moves. I'm not sure what this says about me, but I do know that the life skills I've gained from having a roommate have made me a better human being.

I’ve had great roommate experiences, and I’ve had awful experiences that have made me think twice about ever living with another person again — ever. However, each experience has taught me something, and in return, has given me the skill sets to handle just about any situation.

Throughout college, I had roommates, except for the two years I was a resident assistant, in which case you could say I had 50-plus roommates. Roommates can test your temperament and character, and can bring up feelings and emotions you've never had before. All experiences are learning experiences, and if you can avoid making the same mistakes twice, you’ll know how to deal with a variety of personalities,which can only help you in the long run.

Someday, I do hope to live on my own — I believe both experiences are of value. But looking back at my past roommates and living situations, I can’t say I’d change any of it, because they've helped me develop into the person I am today. That’s called being an adult. Here are eight things you learn from having a roommate.

1. How To Share

Because your roommate eating your chips is really not that big of a deal. You two share toilet paper for goodness sake.

2. Financial Stability

You can talk about sex, politics, and religion with your friends, but money? Forget it. But with your roommate, you're having that conversation once a month in regards to rent being payed on time, and why the electric bill was double from last month's.

3. Accountability

Say you messed up by having loud overnight guests — it's going to come to a head eventually. You live together, and unless not talking to each other works until the lease is up, you'll take responsibility for your actions.

4. Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

You clean, because you refuse to be labeled as the grossest roommate in the history of roommates. Also, because the shower is clogged so badly, you're practically taking a bath. Gross.

5. Sociability

Sometimes having a roommate that goes out every night will make you think twice about staying in on a Saturday with TV and pizza.

6. Communication

Because passive-aggressive dry erase board notes are not the answer.

7. Compromise

Like all relationships, it's a give and take. You'll let her hop in the shower first thing in the morning, because she has to leave for work earlier. It also means you get control of the TV, and first dibs in the kitchen.

8. How To Listen

Because sometimes, you'll just need to talk to someone about the crappy day you had. No judgement, just listening. You'll return the favor.

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