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Roommates vs. Living Alone


Moving off campus means you won’t have a Resident Assistant to mediate conflicts. Moving out of your apartment because you don’t get along with your roommate(s) is not always an option, since you may or may not be able to sublet your space. If you are going to be living with roommates, you should consider the following questions before living together to avoid conflict:

  • Do you or your potential roommate smoke?
  • Do you and your potential roommate have similar sleeping habits?
  • How often do each of you go out on the weekends and during the week?
  • Can you and your potential roommate handle each other’s lifestyle differences (i.e. use of alcohol, sexual orientation, etc.)?
  • Do you or your potential roommate have a significant other? How often will they visit and stay overnight?
  • Do either of you have or plan to have pets?

For a sample roommate agreement, see the Off-Campus Roommate Guide.

Living Alone

If you are thinking of living alone, consider the following questions*.

  • How are your finances?
    • Having roommates can save you money on your living expenses. Living by yourself means that all the monthly utility bills are your responsibility?
  • Do you like living alone?
    • If you are someone who needs alone time to relax and recharge, this is hard to do if you are living with three roommates.
  • Do you like to share?
    • Whether you are best friends with your roommates or barely interact with each other, you will have to share intimate details about your life. You will need to be OK to share financial information and common living space with them.
  • How private are you?
    • You will have to respect and compromise with roommates on issues such as overnight guests, having friends over and sleep habits.
  • How do you deal with conflict?
    • Living alone means that you can avoid conflicts on issues such as bathroom time and sharing your food.

*This information was adapted from