Roommate dynamics

How to have a successful relationship with your roommates

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Illustration by Evan Brien

The Weal sat down with petroleum engineering technology student Derek Wieliczko to talk about how he deals with living alongside three roommates in SAIT’s residence. 

The Weal: What was it like when you first met your roommates compared to now?

Derek Wieliczko: It was awkward at first. You don’t know these people, and now you’re living with them. But now after almost two years of living with them, they have become my best friends from school.

TW: How do you organize your sharing space?

DW: Before school started, we talked about what things we needed to bring and what would be too much to handle. We’re all pretty good with sharing each other’s things and everyone is really honest so there’s never been an issue with belongings going missing.

TW: What is it like living with roommates compared to living with parents?

DW: There’s a lot more independence and freedom since your roommates aren’t in charge of looking after you. Sometimes there’s conflict because things like dishes won’t get cleaned up because nobody is there looking after things, but I like it better than living at home.

TW: How do you organize sharing responsibilities?

DW: We all get our own groceries and things we need, but say if I bought toilet paper last time, someone else will buy it the next time, and we’ll just keep going like that.

TW: How do you deal with conflict when it arises? 

DW: We’re all pretty direct and honest with each other. We’re not blunt about  [conflict] but we will get our point across. As of yet, I don’t think that anyone’s feelings have been hurt. Anything we have said hasn’t been unreasonable. I feel like if we have to bring up something then we will, but if it’s something small we let it slide. If it’s a big deal then we will talk as a group so that that way no one is getting hurt or feels like they’re getting ganged up on.

TW: Do you miss living at home?

DW: I miss the food the most. Having a vehicle, and I miss my parents and family of course.

TW: Is living away from home worth it?

DW: Yes, I would say so. I have a lot more independence and I feel a lot more responsible for my own activities.

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