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What are the pros and cons of having friends as roommates?

Updated: Mar 2

Living with roommates can be an exciting and challenging experience, and this decision to live with friends or strangers can have a significant impact on your life. While living with friends might seem like the obvious choice, each have their pros and cons.

The benefits of living with a friend include:

students speaking about living off campus
University of Alberta student shares why they would rather have friends as roommates.

  1. Having a built-in social life: You can hang out with your roommates whenever you want, which can be great for saving time and money on planning friend hangouts outside of your home. coffee dates don't matter.

  2. Shared interests and habits: You and your friends probably have shared interests and habits, which can make it easier to live together. Having similar schedules and being closer to each other means you can enjoy the same types of activities, or have compatible sleep patterns.

  3. Familiarity and trust: When you live with friends, you already know and trust them. You're less likely to worry about safety or trust issues, and will feel more comfortable discussing problems or concerns.

However, the cons of living with friends exist which include:

2 students talking about living off campus
University of Alberta student shares view on living with friends.

  1. Uneven responsibilities: Living with friends can create imbalances in responsibilities. One person might end up doing most of the cleaning or cooking, which can lead to resentment or frustration. Don't hesitate to talk to each other about improving your living agreements fairly.

  2. Blurred boundaries: Boundaries between your personal and social life can become blurred due to always being in each other's space. This means you have to respect each other's need for alone time despite being so comfortable as roommates.

  3. Relationship changes: While living with your friends, you'll get to know each other's good and bad behaviors. You'll discover that you have different living habits and expectations, pet peeves and perspectives on how to keep the house clean. This can lead to conflicts or disagreements about the shared space and personal issues because you or your roommate don't want to be the nagging friend.

  4. Limited growth opportunities: When your roommate is your friend, you may take too much comfort in that social connection. This means feeling less motivated to leave the house to meet new people or try new things because you're comfortable in your current social circle.


Living off-campus will introduce you to unknown experiences and living with friends can offer some comfort. Choosing to have friends as roommates offers the safest choice but it can also mean closing off an opportunity for self growth.

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