When I came to Queen’s University, the housing process seemed to work out okay! I decided to move in with a few girls I knew from high school which was a big help (especially during COVID-19 when I wasn’t really meeting new people). I thought this would be a great opportunity as I already knew them so well, that we were on the same page and would get along! Over time, we only grew closer as friends and were able to succeed in being on the same page for a lease and house. However, I want to inform anyone who thinks it is a good idea to move in with friends: you must make an important distinction between friend and housemate – they are not the same.

For reference, I live with two other people in a small student apartment. It is relatively cheap, close to campus, and has a large living room which we all use very often. We spend a lot of nights together, sitting in the living room watching tv and even cooking the same meal for all of us. It felt amazing for this to be so communal, and we were becoming even closer friends, but in a way, it also caused some problems.

Something I struggled with was wanting to maintain a friendship, while also trying to create boundaries or approach them with any issues I had. For example, I had problems asking for people to be accountable in washing their dishes or how they never contributed to cleaning. As a friend, I just wanted to help them out. However, as a roommate, it was angering and led to me often being resentful or bitter towards them.

Overall, my housemates are my best friends, I genuinely would not have changed a thing. This process taught me a lot about advocating for myself and not being afraid to voice my opinion – even when it might be “awkward”. In a way I think you owe it to your housemates to be open with how you feel to not have a hostile environment. Set the standards early on and talk!

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