It’s the kind of question we have to face (or faced) at some point in our lives. Whether you are an incoming college freshie or a budding yuppie just about to experience the real world of adults, I’m certain you have one of these questions lingering on your mind when planning to move into a condominium or apartment.
Is better to live alone or have roommates?
Surely enough, each condition has its own perks and downsides. If you are planning to rent a property and is having a hard time deciding whether to fly solo or drag someone in with you, then worry no more! We’ve listed down the pros and cons of having a roommate, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of living alone to help you decide!
What are the Pros and Cons of Living Alone?
Lots of ‘Me’ Time
If you are an introvert at heart (like me), then the answer will be very much obvious. Living alone gives you lots– and I mean, lots of alone time. You can also choose on when you want to host a slumber party in your room or do a shopping spree with your friends outside. If you’re out of the mood enjoy the sunshine and the company of others, you can just lock your door and enjoy a whole day of peace and quiet to yourself. Grab that bag chips and start that Netflix and Chill marathon all by yourself!
You Can Decorate However You Want
Another perk of living alone is you get to freely decorate your living space. Do you want to place your study or work table beside the window? Sure! Do you want to hang up posters of your favorite artists? Fill your wall with lots of ’em! Feel comfortable to express yourself through the interior design of your home because no one will tell you what you should or shouldn’t do in your own room! Being able to personalize your own space will bring you that sense of home and comfort.
Probably the best thing about living alone is you have the total control to do anything you want inside the four corners of your room. Blast out loud music (but not loud enough to disturb your neighbors) any time you want, learn to cook and experiment on new recipes in the kitchen without someone complaining about the mess on the table or the pile of dirty dishes on the sink. Want to get bare naked? You do your thing!
You can also easily invite people whenever you want without having to ask permission from someone. It’s easy to bring in pets as you don’t have to worry about the allergic conditions of your roommate because you have none! Just make sure ask your landlord if you can take your furbabies with you.
Living Alone Can Be Expensive
As much as it is fun and enjoyable to live alone, you also get to enjoy all of the bills to yourself. Living alone means you have to pay rent, water bill, electricity and other expenses like internet, heating and air conditioning using your own money, without a roommate to share them with.
This also means that you have to take care of your finances. Before you decide whether you want to alone, take consideration of your financial situation. If the budget in your pocket calls for you to save money, then you may want to give up on the idea of living alone. Also, saving money might be a little difficult in this kind of living situation.
You are Responsible for All of the Chores
Who loves doing household chores? Some of you probably, but majority of you certainly do not. When you are living alone, you have to do all of them by yourself. Everything is fun and games until you realize all of the house work you need to finish on your own– washing the dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the entire apartment or condo, even taking out the trash! Sure, you may choose to do them when you feel like it, but it will turn your space in a messy dumpster. And no one wants to live in a dumpster. So whether you like it or not, living alone means you have to do all of the house works alone.
You May Get Lonely Sometimes
While it is fun to dwell inside your own bubble, sometimes you may feel like you want to have a bit of company. It’s easy to find someone to talk and hang out with when you’re living with a roommate but it’s a different story when you live all by yourself. You can text or call your friends to come over but don’t expect them to be there for you all the time. It may seem like a challenge for some people, but you have to get used to the solitude or find other ways to keep you entertained while your friends are busy.
What are the Pros and Cons of Having a Roommate?
While some people highly value their alone time, most people prefer living with one roommate or two. Imagine having endless slumber parties and late night gossips with your best friends! Making friends is also much easier as you can easily turn your new roommate into one of your lifelong friends! aside from fostering close relationships with other people, here are other benefits of living with roommates!
You Don’t Have to Pay All the Bills
One of the best perks of living with a roommate (and the major reason why most people prefer to have one) is you get to split the bills! Living with a roommate will save you money as utilities and other expenses are equally shared between the two of you. Indeed, having a roommate is comparatively cheaper versus living alone.
On the other hand, if you are bringing a lot of roomies with you, then you may afford to rent bigger apartments. A bigger apartment equates to more bedrooms, larger bathrooms & living rooms, and most importantly, and more space to lounge around.
Before packing your stuff and moving in with your best friends, make sure that everyone has agreed to have a fair share of the expenses to avoid conflicts in the future.
Living with roommates means you don’t have to do all the housecleaning work by yourself. Discuss with your roommate about the chores he or she feel comfortable doing and compromise with yours. Make sure that the tasks you both love and hate doing are divided equally to the both of you. Not only that it will save time, but will also make the workload easier and lighter.
Having Friends Around to Hang Out With
The social atmosphere brought about by your roommate makes you feel a bit less lonely, especially if you are living far away from home and doesn’t get the chance to visit your family that often. Also, it’s easy to form long lasting relationships with the people you share the roof with. Even if you’re living with a stranger at first, you have the luxury of time to know each other better. Who knew your next best friend might be your new roommate!
Sacrificing Personal Space
For people who can’t afford to share their living space and alone time with other people, then sadly, moving in with a roommate isn’t the ideal for you. Living with a roommate means you have to share everything with them– kitchen, bathroom, communal areas, and such. It seems that the only personal space you’ll ever have is your own bed. Unlike when you live alone, every nook and cranny of your condo is your personal space.
Limited to No Freedom in the Apartment
Aside from sacrificing your personal space, you are also giving up your total freedom when living with roommates. You can’t freely invite people over and you can’t reprimand your roommate from doing the same thing as he also has the right to do so.
Also, the living situation calls for you to be more careful and mindful of your surroundings. For instance, you can’t play loud music that freely as you might disturb your roomie who’s studying for an upcoming exam or just getting a good night’s rest. Don’t let your messes and clutter linger for a long period if time as these may be a cause of unnecessary arguments. You have to wait for your turn if you want to cook in the kitchen, take a long bath, or put your dirty clothes in the laundry.
Another downside of living with roommates is your conflicting schedules. Sure you can adjust yours at times so it won’t hinder theirs but there will be moments where your schedule conflicts each other and they can be annoying. For instance, you are running late to work or school but the bathroom is already occupied, you have to wait until your roommate is done before you can take your turn. Or if you want to throw a party on the weekends but can’t because your roommate has already friends invited over. Even best friends get caught up in arguments because of conflicting schedules.
Tips to Get Along with Your Roommate
Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a perfect roommate. Sure, you two got along easily but as you continue to live with them, you’ll start to notice some habits that will make your nose scrunch up in disapproval. But as judging as we may be, us ourselves isn’t anything better. Turning our heads from the unpleasant side, sharing a condo or apartment with a person can be an excellent and rewarding experience overall.
Given that, here are some tips to get along with your roommate to make the living situation healthy and peaceful for the both of you.
Communication will always be the key. Take some time to sit down and discuss with your roommate your preferences, the things that you both like, things that you both dislike, and the things that is loved by one and hated by the other. This way, you’ll learn to respect each other’s preferences. You can’t expect your roommate to know these things without you saying them and vice versa.
Resolve Conflicts as Early as Possible
Certainly, there are some of your roommate’s habits are bothering you. Don’t you like it when he goes through your things without permission? Is he being too loud in the mornings? Does he often forgot to clear away his clutter? Better than keeping all of these grievances inside, address them in a nice and polite manner.
Conflicts are inevitable, and sometimes they sprout out of the most petty reasons. If you ever caught yourself in a heated argument with your roomie, resolve it as early as possible. Prolonging fights will only damage your relationship in the long run. Remember that you will be sharing this space with this person for a long period of time, so it’s better to solve and address problems before you start holding grudges against each other.
Be Cautious When Inviting People Over
Planning to call your friends for a night of slumber party? Before you spread the invitation to everyone, make sure you’ve informed your roommate about it. He might need to review for an upcoming exam and you might cause a disturbance. On the flip side, your roomie should do the same when he wants to invite people. Better yet, create an alternating schedule on when one can bring someone over.
Respect Other People’s Belongings
Sometimes, we get too comfortable with other people that we tend to overstep our boundaries, especially when borrowing things from them. Remember that no matter how close you are to this person, it’s still a common courtesy to ask permission first before taking his belongings. Don’t just eat his leftovers on the fridge! He’ll surely look for it when comes home!
Keep the Doors Locked When You are Going Outside
This will definitely benefit the both of you as you are not only protecting your valuables, but your roommate’s as well.
Keep an Open Mind
One of the highlights of having a roommate is we get to meet diverse people who has lots of stories to offer. Your roommate might have a different lifestyle, culture, perspective, and ideology than your but you have to respect that. Keep an open mind and look at the interesting things these new perspectives may teach you.
Treat Your Roommate on How You Want to Be Treated
As the Golden Rule says, do not do unto others what others do unto you meaning. Getting along with other people can be really challenging (and frustrating sometimes), but whatever the situation may be, it’s still important to treat them with respect. At the end of the day, you know you treated your roommate well and that you’ll have no regrets about it.
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Vistaland International Marketing, Inc. (VIMI) is the international marketing division of Vista Land. Aiming to provide OFWs and migrant Filipinos a home in the Philippines, VIMI has established long-lasting relationships with brokers and clients around the world.