Sleeping with Strangers is Awkward
I spent last weekend in a hostel in Bogotá sleeping in a room with 7 “strangers”. I actually knew three of the other people in the room, so it wasn’t as many strangers as I thought it would be. This experience reminded me of just how awkward communal living can be. I’ve been in some sort of communal living situation for the last four years. This has included a host family, shared rooms, hostels, living with friends, living with strangers, and more. Here are a few of the things that make living with other people awkward.
- If your roommate is a stranger, you have those “get to know you” conversations at the weirdest of times. You often spend the first few months having conversations in random places around the house, such as the stairwell or the kitchen, talking about where you’re from and what you like to do.
- You will have strangers in your house on a regular basis. If you don’t know your roommates (or even if you do), you’re probably not going to know their friends, family and significant others, but you’ll know them by the end of your lease.
- You will eventually see more of your roommates than you’d like. This might be nudity, meltdowns, fights with other people, severe illnesses, etc. Living with people will show you all sides of them.
- You have less privacy. Just as you will see all sorts of things about your roommates, they will probably see things you’d rather keep private too. Also, forget trying to be secretive about new significant others or other such things. They will soon find out, even if they aren’t particularly nosy.
- You may or may not agree on things such as religion, health, or relationships and this may become an issue or lead to some awkward discussions.
- You have to come to agreements about how to live. This includes talking about rent, cleaning the kitchen, buying toilet paper, and the shoes that are left out.
- Your strange habits will be pointed out to you. Living with other people, they are likely to notice and comment on the things you do that are different.
- If there is a common room TV, you will watch things you never would have watched otherwise. Your snarky comments may or may not be appreciated.
- You and your roommate(s) may disagree on what the definition of a roommate is. You may feel smothered or lonely, depending on your personality.
It’s not all bad though. Many of the strangers or near strangers I’ve lived with have become some of my closest friends. Besides, it’s a whole lot cheaper to live with other people and cheap is almost always a good thing.
Also, if you’re looking for a great hostel in Bogotá, I highly recommend La Pinta’s hostels. (I didn’t get paid anything to tell you this).