How To Survive Living With Strangers


Desperation got the best of you. All of your friends got locked into 12-month leases and you couldn’t find a roomie. Now, you’re living with strangers.

The bills flood in, the landlord hates you and the kitchen isn’t big enough to swing (let alone cook) a cat in. Living with people you don’t know is no easy task. Here are some tips to survive living with strangers.

1. Be an island.

These people have their own stuff going on. Between full-time schedules, gym evenings and the new diet craze, they don’t have time to care about you. Be self-sufficient. Consider your blackout booze marathons over.

Put your Robin Hood days behind you, too. Stealing that little bit of milk is no longer cool. You will make enemies. What’s theirs is theirs. Make sure you keep your hands to yourself and pay your bills on time.

2. Learn to dance.

Chances are your communal areas are minuscule, and while one bathroom between four seemed cushty in your college years, working the 9-to-5 is a different beast.

So move with grace. Dance through the corridors and glide up the stairs. Pirouette from the stove to the sink, carefully ducking the freezer door your housemate left open. It’s a beautiful, unchoreographed dance and you’ll become an expert at it.

Learn to stay out of the way, and hopefully they will too. Everyone will live easier. And if you live in the rougher part of town, just practice dodgeball.

3. Be a ninja.

Similarly, if like all sane people, you can’t function in the morning, learn how to be invisible. Move like a cat, grabbing breakfast in a flash before scurrying back to the safety of your room. Return from work and instantly vanish into blissful solitude. The best roommate is the one you never see. A silent tenant, ever elusive.

The skills you learn here will also prove valuable for the perilous towel dash from the shower.

4. Perfect small talk.

So you’re lonely and want some form of social contact in your home life. You are human, after all. Well, often your housemates will have even less in common with you than your colleagues. “How was your day?” and “What’s up?” will become your greatest allies. Who knows, maybe they will become friends. You just have to…

5. Make it happen.

As everyone will keep telling you, life only gets busier and more stressful after graduation, so if you want to make friends in your new life, it’s down to you. And sure, someone will have to be the designated driver, bars will be too expensive and house parties will dry up, but at least you’ll have that job money.

Now’s the chance to meet these new people and forge fruitful adult relationships. After all, the city is yours to share, right?

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Procrastinator. Aviator. Terminator. One of those three.

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