Moving to a new place: Should I have a roommate?

It was a cloudy noon on the 27th of April 2017. I decided to register myself as a student at UCSI University. However, the orientation day for the new batch of students was to be held on the 3rd of May 2017. It meant that there was only FIVE days left for me to settle my accommodation in KL so I could attend the orientation day. Since everything was in a hurry, I had to choose whatever room that was available for me to move into within five days. When I was screening through all the rooms around UCSI University, I was presented with some questions as below…

Should I live in a single room?
Should I share the room with a roommate?
How am I going to stay with a stranger that I never knew before if I wish to have a roommate?

Because of this experience, I decided to list out the pros and cons of having a roommate so if you ever face the same dilemma, you can make a more informed and wise choice.

Pros of having a roommate

1. Cheaper rental fee.

First and foremost, the rental fee for a shared room will be very much cheaper than a single room. For me, I prefer sharing a room with a roommate to staying alone in a single room. As a student who has no income, I don’t want to burden my parents with the heavy rental fees in addition to high tuition fees.

For your information, UCSI University has on-campus accommodations that are available at Block D, Block E and Block L. Block D and Block E are located at South Wing whereas Block L is located at North Wing. Most of the rooms provided here are twin-sharing rooms. Currently, there is no single room available at Block D. However, if you are interested to live in a single room, you can always look for it at Block E and Block L. If you want to know more about the rental fee for on-campus accommodation, you can kindly refer to this link.

On-campus accommodation located at Block E, UCSI

For off-campus accommodations, students can choose to stay at Angkasa Condominium, which is located next to UCSI University. It only takes 5 minutes to walk from Angkasa Condominium to the university. Most of the students prefer to choose off-campus accommodations since they come with cheaper rental fees compared to on-campus accommodations. (For any enquiries regarding accommodations, you can contact our counselors via live chat.)

Of course, if you wish to have a roommate, you will have to share the rental fee with your roommate equally. For example, if it is a twin-sharing room with a rental fee of RM800 per month, you and your roommate will need to pay only RM400 per month each. It is much cheaper compared to paying for the entire room yourself.

2. A nice roommate will be a great soulmate.

You can always find a roommate who you have known beforehand to share a room with you. He/she can be your friend, your sibling or your relative who studies at the same university as you do. However, what if you are the only one in a completely new environment, without anyone who you know or trust? I am an example of this. Since I chose to have a twin-sharing room, I am staying with a roommate who I did not know prior to moving in. After moving into the new place, we got to know each other, deeply. Why “deeply”? As both of us are living under the same roof, all the small habits that we never reveal to others will be revealed to each other one way or another. We share our stories, complaints, frustrations, happy memories and experiences with each other, we comfort each other when one of use feels down, and in general, we spend a lot of time with each other. I can share everything with this friend of mine and because she is such a nice roommate, I have never felt lonely despite living in a completely unfamiliar environment without the company of any of my family members. Besides, if you face any problems, your roommate can be your go to person to discuss your problems or ask for advice. If your roommate is a senior, that’s even better! He/she can share a lot of tips on how to survive in UCSI University with you. In a nutshell, having a kind roommate will make your life much easier!

3. You can share your delivery fees!

Nowadays, you can easily have your meals delivered via Grab without stepping out of your house! There are many food delivery apps that provide delivery services such as FoodPanda, Grab Food, DahMakan and so on. Sometimes you are just too lazy to go out from your cozy room, or the scorching sun outside ruins your mood to go out for a meal. In such cases, food delivery apps will be your best choice. Furthermore, if you can order food together with your roommate, both of you can share the delivery fee! It will definitely cost less compared to you ordering on your own.

Food delivery players in Malaysia

Cons of having a roommate

1. Consideration and toleration.

It’s a crucial matter that one must consider before he/she decides to have a roommate. You must always take into consideration others’ feelings and thoughts since you are not the only one who is staying in the room. For example, kindly switch off the lights (you can use a desk lamp instead) and lower your voice when your roommate is sleeping. Besides that, don’t mindlessly bring ‘visitors’ into your room as that will disturb your roommate as well.

Moreover, sometimes you will be in a position where they are the ones who have done something to tick you off and you wish for them to be more considerate. What should you do, then? In this case, effective communication is key, as communication is very important for both sides to understand and solve problems in a civil manner. You have to take note that everyone has their own living habits, and that we may not be able to force them to change instantly. Without effective communication, living together can give rise to misunderstandings, quarrels or worse, enmity. You can always push your ego aside and discuss it with your roommate until you guys find the best solution that satisfies both sides.

2. Privacy issue.

As you are living within the same four walls as your roommate, everything that you do inside the room will be noticed by your roommate. If you are seeking absolute privacy, I will suggest you to rent a single room instead of a shared room.

3. Cleaning jobs

Since there are two people sharing a room, the cleaning tasks should be the responsibility of both. You can discuss it with your roommate so that the cleaning jobs will be well distributed between the two of you.

After pondering over all the pros and cons that I have listed above, I decided to share a room with someone. I was lucky enough to have a roommate who is considerate and we are able to get along well with each other. She also became my soulmate and I really appreciate having such a nice roommate during my university life.

Before I end my post, let me give you a gentle reminder. Sometimes, you may meet a person who does not even care about your feelings, or someone who you fail to communicate effectively with. If you are dealing with a person who upsets you to the point where your daily routines are affected, please do not hesitate to move to a new place, or change your roommate. Do not wait until all the petty problems pile up into something more serious and complicated, because by then it will all be too late. I hope that everyone will be as lucky as I am and find your perfect roommate who makes the arduous journey of tertiary education a bit more bearable and a bit more fun.

That was all for the pros and cons of having a roommate. What will be your choice now ?

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