The ones you choose after the age of 25, however, usually require a bit more scrutiny. If you’re past the quarter-century mark and deciding between moving into that furnished two bedroom downtown (with a Craigslist roommate to match) and the less-central bachelor, here’s a list to put it all in perspective.
LIVING ROOM ART
Before 25: An agreed-upon movie poster, obviously.
After 25: You probably still can’t afford real art, but you’re really hoping the new roommate has something better than that giant IKEA black and white print with the red bike. You know the one.
Before 25: Having roommates of the same sex and size means a double wardrobe! Yay!
After 25: Hands off; that’s dry-clean only.
Before 25: Bringing home a random means an after-party for everyone. Did someone say Flip Cup?
After 25: After a stealth sneak-in, you really, really hope s/he leaves before anyone else gets up. And by hope, we mean you set the alarm early and kick them out.
Before 25: Dishes in the sink means a team pow-wow to establish a cleaning schedule.
After 25: No. Just no.
Before 25: Dinners together are a regular thing, because sharing cheap groceries is great for your budget.
After 25: If someone uses your truffle salt one more time, you’re going to a-salt them.
Before 25: You’re all making extra cash by renting out that underground parking spot you don’t need.
After 25: You passive-aggressively come home 5 minutes before they do to make sure your car is safe and sound first.
Before 25: That cleaning schedule you developed keeps things in order. Sort of.
After 25: To maintain peaceful relations between parties, you’ve agreed to split the payment for a bi-weekly cleaning service.
LATE NIGHT BINGING
Before 25: There’s always someone to share that 2 a.m. pizza with.
After 25: You silently judge whoever’s McDonald’s bag that is in the garbage on Sunday morning.
Before 25: The fridge is stocked with Kokanee, just in case. And by stocked, we mean there are three bottles.
After 25: You routinely measure your Patron XO to make sure no one has touched it.
Before 25: Score! $28 worth of empties left over from last night’s house party. That’s a whole new two-four of Lucky Lager!
After 25: You’re fighting over who’s taking the wine bottles to the recycling bin.
Before 25: You really didn’t want to know what lived in the crevices of that hand-me-down couch. But whoever’s willing to extract the change from it is eating the best meals this week.
After 25: You may not be shopping at West Elm yet, but you can promise your guests that if their phone falls out of their pocket and under a cushion, they won’t lose a finger retrieving it.
Before 25: There’s always an extra roommate who’s not on the lease because someone’s significant other still lives with their parents.
After 25: You have to make plans to see your roommate when they’re in a relationship, because they’re basically living at their lover’s bachelor(ette) pad.
Before 25: You stay up late bragging about every dirty detail of your conquests – real or made-up.
After 25: You’re a supportive ear through the bigger decisions in life, but still like a little gossip every once in a while. These days, though, it’s all real.