Eight people and four rooms in one suite isn’t quite the ideal situation. Life in an eight person suite may not always be sweet but here are seven tips to help live with other suitemates.
Set up a cleaning schedule
Living in a small space with seven other people can become messy really really quickly. With so many people, it is so easy to set up a cleaning rotation. What my suitemates and I do is assign everyone a cleaning day and then on Sundays we usually all tidy up our own personal dorms. Assigning everyone a day assures that the suite stays in a livable condition and messes don’t pile up.
Learn how to resolve conflict and communicate
Being in a brand new environment is hard enough, but living with 7 people you have never met in your life can bring some challenges. I am so lucky to have gotten suitemates that I get along with and consider my close friends, but that’s not always the case. It’s okay to not be best friends with everyone in your suite. It’s not okay to have conflict within a suite though. As a suite, you all should discuss your conflicts and decide ways to avoid future conflicts. As cliche as this may seem, have “team meetings.” My suitemates and I have them weekly and they are so informal but make such a difference in our suite.
Learn how to share
Eight different people equals eight very different possessions. As a suite, you need to learn how to share. Some things you definitely don’t need to share (like food) but other times it wouldn’t kill you to share a few things. For example, clothes are something that you can lend to a suitemate. But if you borrow clothes always make sure to ask first. One thing I always make sure I do is clean the clothes I borrowed before you return them. It’s a privilege, not a luxury to share, so make sure you are still respecting your suitemates.
Help each other out every once in awhile
Whether it’s marketing homework or makeup for a night out, help out your suitemates every once in a while. That’s one of the best parts of living with other people, being able to help each other out. If I’m having a rough day I know I can always go to one of my suitemates for help, and they know I would do the same for them.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries
After living in such a small vicinity with so many people, you may discover some boundaries you didn’t even know you had. For example, I am very particular and in a way possessive about my clothes (because I am so used to my sisters back home taking them without asking). From the beginning I just made it clear that I don’t mind sharing clothes, I just want to be asked first. Sometimes in our suite, it can get too loud, but we all know that we can always respectfully ask each other to quiet it down.
Split up who buys what supplies
Toilet paper, paper towels, utensils, and basic cleaning supplies are the necessities in our suite. To make sure one person doesn’t buy all of the supplies, we split up who buys what. With a simple rotation of supplies, we make sure everything’s equal. We also have a whiteboard in our kitchen and we make notes on when we need supplies.
Spend quality time with each other
Actually spend time with your suitemates and get to know them. Have a pizza and movie night, or go for a picnic in the common. You got placed to live with these people so why not get to know them better? Also, living with your best friends just makes the whole experience ten times better.
I am beyond lucky to have gotten seven amazing suitemates. During this exciting time in college, being in a whole new environment has been challenging sometimes but my suitemates have made my transition so much better. I hope my seven tips were insightful and can help you and your suitemates have a suite life too.