Monday, August 25, 2008

[Feature] An Experiment: Moving in with Roommates

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the idea of moving out, followed up by a post about what to do in order to prepare for the big move.

Initially, yours truly had written those posts in hopes of actually following through with it, but ended up not doing so, thanks to Asian parents and their forever suffocating tentacles, as well as thinking realistically (student loans, bills, etc.). Sigh. C'est la vie.

Anyway, as an investigative reporter, I ran away from home for the past 2 weeks in order to get a "real feel" for living outside of home. With no communication to the family, I was able to tap into a pseudo trial run of living away from home, all while living with 8 roommates.

First off, no matter what anyone ever says to you, literally living away from home is the best thing ever (well, especially after living away at school for four years, only to taste freedom and then return back home to your parents' rules). This can even apply to young-faced college freshmen who are preparing for their first year away from home, after 18 years of living under your parents' roof. I mean, as a young adult evolving into a full-fledged adult, it's kind of hard to be taken seriously when your mother still yells at you for not taking care of something, or if your daily life revolves around what time your parents expect you to be home by on a Tuesday night, because now, instead of being a "school day," your parents want you home because you have work the next day, as if you totally forgot about that.

With that said, initially, being able to relax at a house without worrying about chores to do before the parents getting home was awesome. My daily life at home involved me coming home straight after work to make sure that the sink wasn't full of dirty dishes, to make sure that any mess that either my younger brother or older sister made in the house was cleaned, and to throw in a load of laundry. Not really an enthralling thing to do, especially after a stressful day of work. And especially if it's not your own place. In order to be independent, you need to have your own space and just learn to do your own thing.

Anyway, living with roommates (4 boys, 3 dogs, and 1 girl) has amounted to an interesting experience. It really does feel like living at the dorms again .. but you know, replace the "going to class" with work, and part of the living situation is scolding the dogs for digging through the garbage, as well as the massive accumulation of dishes (hey, 6 busy people in one house amounts to a lot of dirty dishes!).

Besides dealing with cleaning duties and just making sure not to get in someone's way or causing a ruckus when people are trying to get some rest, living with roommates hasn't been that bad of an experience. And trust me, I've had my fair share of roommate horror stories: like the time in freshman year when my random roommate would get into HUGE love/hate fights with her boyfriend, to the point I would have to leave the room because of the awkwardness, or when I accidentally found her HUGE stash of condoms. Or like that time during junior year when my roommate came home piss-drunk and starting having sex while a friend and I were still in the room .. oh, college.

Anyway, after living away for 2 weeks, I can't say that I've missed living at home. Just the idea of going home after work without doing chores or worrying about anyone else but myself has been awesome. My current roommates are all amiable and fun to be with, and we have yet to step on each other's toes (knock on wood). But as great as this trial run has been, it's important to note a few things before you all decide to go out, find some roomies, and live up an independent life:

1. Make sure you are going to live with roommates you would be comfortable living with. Sure, you can get along with someone when you're all hanging out, but living with someone is on completely different grounds. You are going to see a lot of each other, whether it be you looking all grimey, or you living grimey. Just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Luckily, my temporary roommates are pretty nifty people.

2. Pets might be a problem. I love dogs, and plan to get one or some when I officially move out. But after living with 3 of them, I've realized that I may be somewhat allergic to them. Make sure to have a talk with your potential roommate about pets and what you can do to compromise such a situation.

3. Compromise. You are not going to find the most compatible roommate ever. You cannot expect your roommate(s) to have the same living habits as you. Instead, you need to work with what you have, and hope that your good habits will rub off on others (and vice versa).

Sure, living out of home and with a few roommates might seem like living at a college dorm, but there are some real issues you need to work around, especially as an adult. 'Cause unlike college, there aren't any RA's to help settle differences with roommates, and you wouldn't be looking forward to the weekend to go back to a comfortable home, because baby, you are home.

So think twice about moving out and moving in with roommates. It can be as awesome as my two week experience, or it could be like your horrible freshman year dorming experience (but you'll be stuck with a one year leaase, and you can't make an appeal to the dean to switch roommates).


Anonymous said...

and that's even without considering how much you plan on paying per month to move out. i wouldn't be surprised if people aren't able to live without at least one roommate in this area

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, the college roommate from hell stories....

sang said...

you moved out for two weeks?? when?

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine all of the dog fur flying around - what kind of dogs are in this house?

It really does sound like living at a crowded dorm or frat house, which only reminds me of my college days. Roommates from hell are what make college reminiscing fun.