Students, psychology professor share tips for roommate problems.
By Marina Garcia
Whenever people live together, there will be disagreements about shared living space.
“When you first come together, agree on certain ground rules,” said Dr. Thomas Billimek, chair of the psychology and sociology department. “It really depends on the roommates.”
Common arguments revolve around whose food is in the refrigerator, forgetting to put toilet paper in the bathroom and entertaining late-night guests without roommates’ consent.
“It depends how serious the argument is,” Billimek said. “It could be something silly, but those are the kinds of things you run into when you’re sharing living space with someone.”
“We argue it out and laugh about it after,” said Sara Di Blasi, communications senior at Trinity University and two-year Tobin Lofts resident. “I’ve read the horror stories (about living together), but thankfully, nothing has happened yet — knock on wood.”
Di Blasi said living with her roommate has been better the second year.
She and her roommate argue but laugh about it later, she said.
Communication is the key when sharing living space and needing to set some boundaries.
Evandaro Santos, business administration sophomore, said roommates should talk and establish ground rules to help prevent future problems.
In Tobin Lofts, a public-private partnership that provides student housing, students can share a two-person, two-bath apartment; four-person, four-bath apartment or a four-bedroom, two-bath apartment.
“Now, instead of having two, you now have three or four that would have to agree on what’s mine versus what’s yours,” Billimek said.
Billimek said the best way for students to choose roommates is to make sure they feel comfortable with the person first and have similar habits.
Garrett Ihnen, marketing senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said roommate agreements should be based on trust and honesty.
Ihnen lives in an apartment with three other people, and their harmony is based on unspoken mutual agreement. He has lived with two of his roommates for a year and a half and the third for three months.
“If it gets real bad, we fight it out using boxing gloves,” Ihnen said.