Although you might not be a genius physicist like Sheldon and Leonard in The Big Bang Theory, and you might not be lucky enough to have an apartment as spacious as Dev’s in Master of None, we’re willing to bet you’ll still encounter some of the same roommate related lessons that they do (although probably not as dramatic). We did the dirty work and dug through our favorite shows to pull out the best advice. Take a look!
1. The Big Bang Theory
Lesson: Do not scare your roommate with a long list of rules and regulations.
Your dorm is shared by the both of you equally, which means there will be some compromise. You wouldn’t want to live under your roommate’s strict rules, so don’t expect them to want to live under yours.
Lesson: But, you should agree on some ground rules that are mutually beneficial.
There does, however, need to be some organization when it comes to living together. Work together on figuring out some rules that you guys can both agree on.
2. New Girl
Lesson: Build trust by getting to know each other on a deeper level.
Living together shouldn’t mean just putting up with one another. Becoming friends and understanding the little quirks about each other will help you appreciate your roommate and feel more comfortable living with them. Your roommate will feel more comfortable, as well. They’ll respect you knowing that you actually want to get to know them and trust them enough to share your own stories. Mutual respect = happy roommates.
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Lesson: Help each other out when needed.
You guys are going to be together for awhile, so it’s nice when you can help each other out with things. If you’re there for your roommate, they’ll return the favor and be there for you, too. It doesn’t matter if this means chores or just doing favors for each other. Put the laziness aside the next time your roommate needs a little assistance.
Lesson: Work together on furnishing and decorating.
You shouldn’t have to provide all the appliances, and neither should your roommate. Figure out a fair way to divide the necessities for your dorm, such as the mini fridge and microwave. Decorating the room together is also a great way to bond. Get to know each other’s style preferences and you guys can work together on decorating the room in a way that will match your both of your personalities. Matching recliners, anyone?
Lesson: Don’t be judgmental toward your roommate’s lifestyle and interests.
If your roommate wants to eat a whole pie of pizza to themselves, so be it. If you’re into health and fitness and prefer to snack on some fruit instead, your roommate shouldn’t judge as well. It’s that simple. You might be sharing a small room together, but your lives are still separate.
Lesson: Set some boundaries on what you are and aren’t willing to share.
It might seem obvious that you shouldn’t use your roommate’s toothbrush (ew!), but some things may not be as clear. Be open with your roommate on what you are and aren’t willing to share. (i.e. “I bought some plates and utensils – feel free to use them as needed!” or “I’m leaving my box of granola bars by the fridge, but I’d appreciate it if you ask before you take one.”)
5. Parks and Recreation
Lesson: Share household tips and tricks with each other.
Chances are, it’s the first time both of you are living on your own. Certain aspects of living on your own can be hard to figure out without your parents there to fix your mistakes. You and your roommate should be sidekicks when it comes to tackling these new responsibilities. Two brains are better than one, right?
6. Master of None
Lesson: If you do get into an argument, listen carefully and try to see things from your roommate’s point of view.
Things aren’t always going to be smooth sailing. When an argument rocks the boat, take a step back and don’t allow yourself to act on impulse. It’s hard living with someone new because you both already have a set routine. If you find that you guys are bickering over a bunch of things, try listening to their side and see things from their perspective. It might help you understand why they feel the way they feel.
7. Full House
Lesson: Divide the chores.
Your roommate might be more of a neat freak Danny Tanner, while you’re more of a laid back Joey Gladstone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your roommate should handle all the cleaning. The same roommate taking the trash out every single week is bound to cause some tension and resentment. It’s only fair for you guys to share the amount of chores you take on. Take some time to map out which chores need to get done, and then assign them equally.