How to Split Costs with Your Roommate

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There are many advantages to living off campus: you have your own space, rent is cheaper, and there are fewer rules to follow. However, you will need to figure out how to split costs with your roommates for things like paper products, food, and cleaning supplies. It’s essential you agree to these terms from the beginning, since sharing expenses can easily become the source of arguments.

Here are some tips to guide you.

Decide What to Do About Food

It’s important to determine what food items you’ll share and which belong to individuals. You may like to buy groceries together and take turns to cook. However, many college students find it easier to each buy their own food — in which case you’ll need to label food items to make it clear that they belong to you. Even in this case, though, you may like to share some types of food, like condiments.

Create a Payment-Sharing System

Avoid delays in your roommates paying each other back for shared purchases by creating a system to simplify reimbursements. Alternatively, you can set up a bank account where you deposit the same amount each month and use the funds for agreed-upon purchases. You should make a list in advance of what kinds of products everyone in the household will contribute toward.

Pay for Big Items Separately

Although you’ll all benefit from things like a lamp in the living room, a toaster in the kitchen, and a vacuum cleaner, you may decide it’s better if just one person pays for each item. This will mean that when you move out, it’s clear what belongs to whom. As long as you all contribute something to the apartment, you should be able to make such a system fair. It’s best to coordinate with roommates before you move in to avoid bringing duplicates of some items and lacking some other essentials.

Set Rules for Overnight or Frequent Guests

Guests to your apartment can also cost money, especially if they eat shared food or use the household supplies you all paid for. You’ll need to determine if a roommate who invites someone to stay the night or has a guest over frequently is required to contribute more.

Write an Agreement You’ll All Sign

Once you’ve figured out all the above, write it into an agreement. When all your roommates are happy with the agreement, they should sign it. Whereas this agreement won’t be legally binding (unlike your lease), it should prevent anyone claiming they misunderstood or trying to bind the rules.

If you share a lease with your roommates, you’ll also need to make sure everyone contributes their share of the rent and utility costs. If just one person fails to pay on time, the rest of you are on the hook. This can be one of the major disadvantages of living in a student rental. Oshawa students, however, receive individual leases when they live at Foundry Simcoe. This means you are only responsible for paying for your room, and the all-inclusive rent even covers utilities. Apply now to secure your spot in a suite or townhouse.

How Could Tutoring Sessions Help You?

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Tutoring sessions are one of the best ways to improve your grades. Many students use tutoring for classes required for their majors (since dropping the class is not an option), but you can also use tutoring for electives. If the sessions will lead you to better academic success, they’re worthwhile.

Tutoring Can Help You Even If You’re Not Struggling

A common perception is that tutoring is just for students who are failing a class — this could not be further from the truth. If it’s important for you to do well in a class, tutoring sessions could be a good option. It can be beneficial to talk about the course material with someone who knows more than you, can correct any misunderstandings you have, and can engage you in a discussion that will increase your enjoyment of the subject.

Decrease the Risk You’ll Drop Out

If you are struggling, university can feel like a lonely existence. Having additional support can boost your confidence as well as your grades. When you’re more likely to pass your classes, the chances you’ll decide to drop out will fall.

Identify Where You Need Help

The simple act of a tutor asking you what you need support with may help you identify problem areas. Alternatively, you may find that you don’t understand a certain topic as well as you thought you did when you cover it with your tutor.

Retain More

Many students understand the course material in the moment but find it hard to remember the details later. Tutoring sessions will improve your retention, as you’ll be actively engaging with the material. If you’re able to explain what you know to your tutor, you should be able to recall the information later, such as during your midterms.

Stick to Your Study Schedule

When due dates for assignments are far in the future, it can be difficult to find the motivation to study — even though you know you’ll regret leaving things to the last minute later. Having a tutor should help keep you accountable. At the very least, you’ll attend your tutoring sessions (and hopefully prepare for these sessions). Most students, though, will find that tutoring helps them become more disciplined about studying in general.

Gain Confidence

It’s common to feel self-conscious about asking questions in class — especially if you’re convinced that everyone else knows the answer. Working with a tutor should show you that the doubts you have are completely normal and may even give you the confidence to speak up in class.

Become More Organized

For some students, the difficult part of university is not the academics so much as the need to be organized. It’s up to you to ensure you attend your classes and are aware of due dates. A slip-up may result in a bad grade — even if you understood the material and were capable of an excellent grade. A tutor can teach you to become better organized and ensure that you’re prepared for upcoming assignments.

Tutoring is just one way to improve your grades. Another is to improve your study technique. The problem is it can be difficult to study if you’re faced with unavoidable distractions, such as a noisy roommate. The solution is to move into an off-campus Durham College residence. At Foundry Simcoe, we have suites and townhouses equipped with everything you need to succeed, including a comfortable desk in your private bedroom. Apply now to move in immediately before all the spots are gone.

What You Can Do to Avoid Roommate Drama

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Conflict with a roommate can be a stain on your college experience. It’s always unpleasant coming home when you don’t get along with the person in your shared space. However, instead of simply accepting your fate, there are things you can do to prevent drama.

1. Discuss Your Problems

Never expect issues to resolve themselves if you stay silent. A passive aggressive approach — such as making it obvious that you’re annoyed about something or complaining to someone else and hoping it gets back to your roommate — will only make things worse.

First, recognize that your roommate may be unaware that something is upsetting you. After all, what’s normal for one person could be offensive to another. Invite your roommate to a discussion about living together and talk calmly and kindly about anything that’s bothering you. Make sure to ask your roommate if there is anything you need to change, too.

2. Give Each Other Time to Overcome Issues

Long-standing bad habits can be difficult to change overnight. Plus, your roommate may need time to find solutions to whatever is leading to the conflict between the two of you. Give your roommate a chance to make adjustments, and only have another conversation about the problems if you don’t see any progress or if your roommate is taking too long to uphold his or her end of the bargain.

3. Find a Mediator

Some causes for conflict may be too big for the two of you alone to resolve. In these cases, it’s best to find a mediator. If you live on campus, an RA is a good choice. Otherwise, find someone else who can be neutral and who can help you work toward a solution. It may be beneficial for each of you to initially talk to the mediator one-on-one without the other being there. The mediator can then come up with an action plan or arrive at a compromise that means neither of you will be too unhappy.

4. Remember It Won’t Last Forever

The good thing about college is that you tend to live with the same roommate for only a short time before moving on to different accommodations. If your situation is uncomfortable but bearable, just remember that it will be over relatively soon. You can always spend more time in other places — such as the library when you want to study or your friends’ homes during evenings and weekends — to limit contact with your roommate.

Of course, if the situation is unbearable and unresolvable, the only solution is to find alternative housing. It’s best if you can switch rooms or apartments with someone you know. However, if that’s not possible, the only option may be to break your lease. In this case, learn from the experience to make better choices for your living arrangements next semester.

You’re much less likely to face roommate drama if you don’t share a room. This means moving off campus and into a student rental. Oshawa students can receive their own room in a three-bedroom suite or five-bedroom townhouse at Foundry Simcoe. Apply now before all the units are gone.