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AdviceHey, Bonita!

Is It OK to Ditch My Roommates This Fall and Live By Myself?


Hey, Bonita,

This isn’t a huge relationship issue or anything, but I’ve hit a brick wall on what to do and a second opinion may help.

I’m a grad student at UGA, and I have been renting a place with two friends while I finish school. I knew these guys in undergrad at another university, and we all came to UGA and decided to live together off-campus. We weren’t, like, friends or anything—just knew each other and thought familiar faces would make for good roommates. It’s worked out great, and we’re all definitely buddies now, to varying degrees. All of them are most definitely “my boys.”
Fast forward to now. Our landlords would not renew our lease, so we’re all moving out soon and will move into a new place in August. I have (or had, I guess) summer classes, so I am subletting a small studio apartment for the summer and then moving in with the boys in the fall, too. But here’s the thing: I absolutely love this sublet, and I love living alone. I’ve only been here for a week, but it’s amazing. I’ve never lived alone before, because I thought I wouldn’t like it, but this is really great. I only have to clean up my own mess, and bringing a date home is way less awkward. There are plenty more reasons, too, like the fact that my sublet is in a different, more “local” area than we usually live in. The neighborhood is really great, with lots of stuff within walking distance that I can’t wait to check out once social distancing is over. I feel as if I’m seeing a whole new side of Athens!

I’ve already signed the lease for our new place and paid my share of the deposit, but a big part of me wants to find a subletter and stay in this neighborhood, if I can. I really like my roommates, and it’s nothing personal at all. This new experience has been really great, and I want to continue with it. I feel like it’s about time for me, anyway. Would I be the worst friend and roommate ever if I subleased my room and struck out on my own? I’ve already floated the idea by a few people, and one guy even showed interest in taking over my lease. But I feel as though it would be shady or something if I took off on them like that. I wanna do this, but I wanna be good to my roommates, too.

You are not a bad person for wanting to live alone. That’s evident just by the fact that this has nothing to do with your roomies and more to do with you addressing your own needs and growth. Also: What are you doing bringing dates home? Don’t you know there’s a pandemic going on?! Facetime and Skype exist.

I encourage you to follow this feeling and seek out your own place. It’s possible that one or more of your roommates may feel judged by you jumping the lease, so be prepared for some tough feelings. You can explain it all to them the same way you did to me: You’ve never lived alone before; you didn’t know how dope it really was; and you wanna continue. Simple as that. And yeah, maybe don’t share possibly divisive, negative stuff (like messiness or not feeling comfortable bringing people over) when y’all talk about this. It’s not worth a possible argument if you’re never gonna live with these guys again, anyway.

I also strongly recommend involving them in the sublease process. I’ve subleased a room to people that my roommates didn’t have the chance to vet for themselves, and it backfired horrifically for us all. You need to get this process started RIGHT NOW if you’re gonna find a subletter and your own permanent solo spot, though we have yet to really see how COVID-19 will affect the renter’s market. So, get the ball rolling now to try to get ahead of any complications you might experience. I’m living alone right now after years of communal housing, and you’re right—it’s awesome.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use the anonymous form at flagpole.com/getadvice, or find Bonita on twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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