I have never experience living with strangers yet I do know some of the problems lies within the dorms, shared apartments and rooms. From just basic conversation with people who has been living with strangers, I have came to understand the pros and cons. The binaries are apparent depends on the type of room-mates or housemates you have. Sometimes, the choice is not on you but you can always make the best out of it.
Nobody wish to live with strangers and if they have the ability to fork out a huge amount of money on rent and best of all buy their own house, they wouldn’t go for that option. Many university students experience living with strangers and most of them complain the dreadful lifestyle. When you leave from the comfort zone, you think you have gain freedom but there are many problems to deal with if you encounter wrong room-mates and housemates.
If you are lucky, housemates or room-mates are perfectly normal people that usually live like you- they study, they work and they eat. Well, they talk to you and they hang out with you. They don’t judge you from your background or your fashion style. In summary, these people are great gang to live with. They are basically friendly people. Besides that, strangers come and go with peace. You don’t get too attached on them. Possibly, the bond may grow through the passage of time but you parted with one another with the memory of a short, enjoyable living experience. There is no long lasting friendships anymore especially in university, thus you greet and smile with one another while you guys are still close. That’s the philosophy. Best of all, having housemates means having extra friends outside the classroom- there is no friction between one another as you guys study different things. Practically, you share jokes happen in class and you talk to each other on the problems you face in class. It is definitely not so bad after all.
Okay, back to my main point. Sharing rents means sharing electricity bills, water, sometimes house chores are divided and so the system is pretty coordinated and fun if everyone is willing to work together. Some of my friends told me that they usually split the cooking job so that everyone gets the opportunity to do something- and you get to eat different kinds of food everyday from the skills of different housemates. This scenario was not meant to be an imagination. If you really do have a similar way of working with your housemates, living with strangers become a fulfilling thing to do. You met new people and at the same time, you learn about their cultural backgrounds.
Altering your perspective, living with different kinds of people do build up your tolerance. It is vital to tolerate with something or someone especially during your work. This becomes a great chance for you to live up with the expectation of tolerating with others’ odd behaviours and fussy personality. Living with strangers doesn’t merely allows you to learn independence. It shows you that people do not always live like you do in terms of habit and lifestyle. They are often the opposite side of you and whether you like it or not, you just have to deal with it. This is life.
If you look at the opposite side, the most problematic thing is the habits of your housemates or room-mates whether they are someone who cleans or someone who cleans too much, you just can’t cope with it. Sometimes, a room-mate may leave her smelly socks on you bed or a box of pizzas on the floor which is not fine at all. Some room-mates want you to clean the room once every two days which is fine but you WON’T HAVE THE TIME TO DO IT OFTEN so you skipped it once in a while BUT SHE INSIST IT, you are TOO NICE TO REJECT her order. In the end, you became so frustrated with all these commotion, you just hate that people don’t live the way you do.
You met nice people, you can tell them nicely of your concern but when you met the not-so-nice people, the situation gets tougher and you wonder why all these bother you so much when you just have to worry about your studies…Now on the WIFI issue, everyone uses the same Internet provider but some people may use it to download stuff, video clip or even movies and use it on the not so practical stuff which upsets you when you just want to browse the web on researching for assignments materials.
In addition, some housemates steal your food from the refrigerator- they stole your drink, your eggs, your fruit and you just have to bear with it. Why? Because you don’t have any prove on who steals it unless you have a surveillance camera but where do you have the money to pay for that?
Most Asians want quiet moments and some peace on their mind but the Westerners who likes to party (no offense) have their music blast out after midnight which irritates people who are studying, who are sleeping and their life turns upside down because of your inconsiderate, unethical action. Anyways some people smoke indoor, some people throw rubbish around the place, some people spill drinks but never bother to wipe it and some people chew gum and leave it on the furniture- There are a lot of things to witness when living with strangers. I guess this is the colourful part of the experience.
No doubt that people who lives with strangers are people who has self-perseverance and high tolerance, they simply know what type of room-mate is good for them and they simply learns how to interact with people. Let’s just hope that there are no blood fights or major arguments happening- I think this is what everyone fears of when living with strangers, you never know whether they are violent or kind until you really live with them for a couple of months.