Whether it’s a roommate or housemate, university is likely the first time you are sharing a living space with someone new. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you and your new living buddy aren’t on the next season of Worst Roommate Ever.

Talk it out

Being roommates or housemates with someone is like any other relationship: if you don’t communicate, things will go bad. Quick. Are you annoyed that your roomie isn’t following the chore chart (more on that in a bit)? Say something. Are you planning to have a party or bring your friends over? Tell your roommate. Confrontation can be scary, but it’s better to be open with the person you’re living with to avoid any conflicts.

Make a living agreement

Having a roommate/housemate agreement is a great way to lay out everyone’s expectations for the shared living spaces. An agreement can include a chore chart, rules around bringing people over, what items (food, kettle, etc.) people are willing to share and so on. Making an agreement is also a way you can learn more about the people you are going to be living with, such as their sleeping habits or what they like to do for fun. And, if something isn’t working or you think something is missing, it’s okay to change the agreement (with other people’s consent, of course).

Being friends isn't everything

Yes, being friends with your roommate or housemate is great. But it’s okay — and not uncommon — to not be besties. Realistically, you won’t be home a lot during the day between classes, study- ing, working and hanging out with other people. So, as long as you are on speaking terms with your roomie(s), everything should be fine. There are other fish in the sea, as they say.

Look for the silver lining

There will inevitably be a time when your roomie(s) does something that annoys you. While it can be easy for these situations to ruin your day, or week or month (which is valid), try to remember that this living arrangement is only temporary. Plus, depending on what your roommate or housemate does, you might get a good story to tell your friends.