Cheers to a good roomie relationship.

With another school year just around the corner, lots of young people are on the move. Whether it’s the big move out of your parent’s house and into a dorm or into an apartment with friends, often times the riskiest part of moving out can be whom you move in with. Check out these tips on how to build a better relationship with your new roommate.

I know you’ve heard every awful roommate horror story in the book, so it’s time to put an end to bad roommate behavior before it even begins. Whether you’re moving in with your best friend or someone you just met, the best advice on how to be a good roommate, and get her to be one too, is to follow these tips from the start.

Be Patient. Realize that adjusting to living with someone new, whether you know them well or not, will take time. It may take a while for each of you to establish healthy boundaries between one another. It is important to build an understanding that lets you know what they’re comfortable with. Be patient with yourself in learning to live with someone new, and cut them a little slack as well.

Be able to recognize patterns. Waiting for a pattern to arise in your roommate’s behavior can be the best way to bring up a problem to your roommate. Just because your roomie comes home at 3 AM making all kinds of noise once isn’t any reason to loose your cool. But on the other hand, if every Friday night you’re getting kicked out of your room on account of your roommate’s new man, you may have a problem worth confronting. The next time she uses the last of the milk, let her know that you guys need to work out a new system to better share your space.

Be Honest. It’s easier to confront a smaller problem than a large one. If you’ve recognized a pattern of negative behavior in your new roommate, be sure to bring it up to her attention. Be calm with her and approach the situation in an open and respectful way. There is a chance she may not even realize that borrowing your clothes every other day is something you’re not comfortable with. Try to let her know what works best for you, and what you’re not comfortable with early on. Although it is important to be understanding, it is important to stand up for your needs as well in order to feel the most comfortable in your new space.

Be more than a friend. I have lived with the best of friends who have become the worst of roommates, and had someone I barely knew become the best of roommates. Living with someone is a much different relationship than simply being friends. Don’t worry if you’re not running off to get matching “roomies for life” tattoos any time soon. And don’t worry if you fight here and there or get on each other’s nerves every once and while. It’s bound to happen when living in such small quarters. The important thing is to learn to work through them. All relationships take work, and none are perfect. The same goes for the one you hope to build with your new roomie.

Although these tips may not fix every roommate problem, they are a great start. I have found that the girls I loved living with the most where the ones who grew to be more like sisters than friends. We might not always see eye to eye on everything or have everything in common, but we knew we loved each other and respected each other no matter what. Over time, it is important to get to know the person on a deeper level in order to let them into your trust. A trust that says “yes, you can borrow my new shoes, and I trust you won’t get them dirty at all.”