COVID-19 Features

Roommate 101: Pandemic Edition

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Elliott.

Sharing a space with someone can be a new, exciting experience or a long stressful disaster. Throw a worldwide pandemic into the mix and worries can intensify, germs are your newfound enemy and that small scratch in your throat haunts you all day. These times are scary, and social living can raise concerns. If this sounds like you, here are some suggestions on how to navigate living during a global pandemic. 

First things first, set boundaries and communicate them with your roommate. If one of you is a social butterfly, consider laying low during these times and practice safe social distancing. Keep public outings to a minimum and always wear a mask. If one of you insists on going out, talk about precautions one should practice to ensure everyone stays safe. Now, this may bring up the question, “Am I allowed to have a say in what my roommate does?” Yes. However, it is only with the things that affect you. You are allowed to set rules on who and how many people enter your shared space, what hygienic practices you both want to follow and any other safety precautions, but you can’t tell your roommate he/she cannot go certain places or hang out with large groups of people.

Trust me, I get it. My roommate is a social butterfly and leaves every weekend doing God knows what with God knows who, but I smile and wave, hold my tongue and refrain from ever trying to control her because truth is, you can’t. You can only control yourself.

Secondly, find space for yourself and for your roommate. For most students, we sleep, eat and do homework all in the same area, and it can be challenging to separate these and allow full decompression. Days merge together and weeks feel similar. To combat this, find activities outside your living space, alone and together, to get a change of scenery and allow yourself a healthy break. This could be taking a walk at Sunset Cliffs during golden hour or even having a picnic at Balboa Park. Just stay safe and make sure to get out of the house regularly.

That being said, everyone is experiencing this pandemic differently and there is no instruction manual on what to do during a worldwide pandemic. This is a shaky time for everyone, so be mindful of others and remember to communicate with your roommates and yourself. Enjoy and embrace these weird times, wear your mask and safely social distance! 

Written By: Tori Hoopingarner