First and foremost I want to apologize to all my readers for not putting a post last Tuesday. I don't want to give you an excuse because for the most part, it won't change the fact that on November 16th, there was no post. I'm not going say that I will never ever ever miss a post again but I do want you all to know that I will try my hardest to get them out on time like always (but in the rare occasion I don't, please don't bring out the pitchforks)

Finally, fourth year has come around and I'm in the process of finding living with new roommates for my final year (No, there are no problems with my current roommates, we just all don't want to sign a full year lease because A) we don't want to deal with subletters once we've graduated and B) a few are only back for one semester, it's difficult to get a place all together where we can live for  4 and 8 months.)
Since I'll be living with another friend of mine, and therefore restarting the whole "roommate process" again, I thought I would put some of my past three years of student life in to a post to enlighten those about to embark in the world of living with roommates. 
Whether you're moving out of campus residence or about to graduate into the real world and are looking to find roommates, hopefully this guide will help you find some awesome roommates (I've been told I'm a great advice giver). 

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern BelleThe Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

// Where to Find Roommates //

Who do I live with?

Essentially, you have three options. You can either:

A. Live on your own, 
which I don't recommend because it can be really expensive,
especially in Waterloo, plus you do learn a lot by living
with roommates

B. Be randomly assigned,
some student housing managements can assign you into a unit
with others, which is often done to fill up a whole unit. This can
often be risky because you'll limited say on who you're living with

C. Find a group on your own to live with,
Places to find potential roommates include: your
residence, school clubs you are in, roommate wanted
ads, sports teams/intramurals you are on, classmates

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

// Are They the Right Fit //

Now it's time for some deep-thinking and honesty. Can you actually imagine living with this person?

This is the time to look at everything your potential roommate does and see if you can deal with it or are these possible deal breakers. Remember once you've signed a lease together, you're pretty much joined for the entirety of the contract, so ensuring they are a good fit is pretty darn important. Somethings to consider (about yourself and your roommate) are:

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

Is this person an uber slob (You'll never see your floors again) or meticulously neat (i.e. everything needs to be in its place, ALWAYS)? 

Is this person an early bird or a night owl?

What are their worst habits?

How many people can you, sanely, live with? 
(I currently live with six other people. For me, it's a hoot! )

Will they never be around on weekends? (it's not fun being home alone)

// The Big Talk //

Establishing House Rules

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

You most likely won't have this discussion until after you've moved in, but this is definitely something that needs to happen. Rules exist in every part of society, from no cheating on test and no speeding on the roads to no cell phones at the dinner table. House rules are important. And no I am not talking about these house rules, I am talking about these house rules. In my first off-campus apartment, my roommates and I all decided to have a house meeting where we discussed things like House Rules and Finances. It might be hard to be "that" friend who tries to establish rules, but trust me when I say you're roommates will thank you down the road when issues come up (You're Welcome!)

Things to consider in your house rules are:'
The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

How will you split up chores?
Where to keep the thermostat at?
What is a reasonable time to have dishes done?
Eating other people’s foods/How to do Groceries?
Guests and Parties
**What to do with dishes that have been sitting for over a week?

**I had a roommate once who used to leave dishes for days, and we knew it was hers because all she would cook for like weeks straight was tomato soup. So we left them there and just washed our own. Then she left for the Bahamas for a week, dishes still in the sink. So what we decided to do was to pile all her dishes in front of her door. She wasn't too happy about that when she came back. She put the dishes back in the sink and when we asked her to wash them, she denied that they were hers, went to her room, packed her bags and left for like another week. Let’s just say, rules like these would have been helpful if we had them.
Here's a link to a longer list of issues you'll definitely want to discuss when you have you're first house meeting!

The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

// Roommate Activities //

Roommates are like any other relationship you'll have. They require work. With the hectic schedule of student or work life, don't forget to schedule time to hang out with your roommates. 

Have dinner at the same time -or- have a house dinner
Go see a movie together
Have a  coffee/study date
Watch TV (ahem... How to get away with Murder!) each week
Go grocery shopping at the same time
Coordinate Gym Time
Go to the Adventure Rooms
Just chill on the couch and have life chats

Whatever it is that you decide to do, just make sure you plan some kind of time together (and fill each other on how life's going)

All in all, if you're courteous and respectful of one another, you should have yourself an awesome year with your roommate(s)

   The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle   The Roommate Situation | Le Northern Belle

Hey Everyone!

             For this week's post,  I decided to take the plunge and try making a YouTube video post instead. This is my first official YouTube video, and I'm hoping to replace one Tuesday blog post a month with a video instead. What do you think?

              The video is a random question tag, that I had filming and even more fun editing it together,  even though it took pretty much all do to edit -- lot's of content to sift through

I hope you all enjoy it and I'll be back next Tuesday with a written blog post!

Don't worry, I'm not leaving social media for good, at least not in the immediate future, but I do want to try something new. 

In one of the classes  I'm taking this semester, Interpersonal Communication, we have an ongoing course dialogue online where we discuss the effects that social media has on our lives, and how it's affecting communication. Specifically in us Generation Y-ers, aka the Millennials

Realistically, we, myself included, are often too absorbed to what we're viewing on these 4"-screens that we sometimes forget to, I don't know... stop and smell the roses?

I'm not saying that social media is a horrible invention that needs to be put to bed. Far from that. What I am saying is that sometimes, we need to put away our phones, even if it's for a few hours and just be with yourself or with the people around you. You'll also probably be surprised to see that you have all this extra time to do things you never "have the time to do." Like reading a book, or exercising, studying, calling your parents, talk to real-life people. The list is endless!

When was the last time, other than when you're about to go to bed and when you're studying, where you had time to think about something...anything? What you did that day? Conversations you had? Things you saw? Life itself?

I came across an article on Buzzfeed called, A Teen Instagram Star is Quitting Social Media and Revealing the Truth Behind Her "Perfect Photos". The article is about 18-year-old Essena O'Neill of Australia, and how she believes that social media and the business of social media and advertising can be detrimental to those too absorbed in it, or how Essena puts it "addicted to it." I highly encourage everyone to read the article and watch the ex-YouTuber's last video post, where she further discusses what it really took to get all those so-called perfect Instagram photos. 

Essena has started a campaign. It's called Let's Be Game Changers. She's not only hoping to change people's minds on the effects of social media but on many topics including:

|| Environmental Awareness ||
|| Animal Rights & Veganism || 
|| Food & Nutrition ||
|| Gender Equality ||
|| Technology Addiction ||

This campaign challenges people to go without social media for a week. I've decided take on this challenge, but in baby steps. Though it would be ideal to go cold-turkey and just do a full week, but I know myself and I'll probably be going through some seriously nasty withdrawal symptoms by the six-hour mark. I am literally always on it. My goal is to eventually make it to a week but, for me at least, the most important thing is being aware of just how much you take in from social and how much time you dedicate. Moderation is key. Don't let your self-worth come from the number of likes, or followers or retweets. They're just numbers, don't let them overpower you. I've automated this post, my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to all be released on Tuesday. This way I have zero reasons to re-download and open the app. This just might be my most productive day ever.

On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015, I will unplug from social media.

Get informed. Take the Challenge. Start the Conversation.


© Classic Martha