5 great things about living with Craigslist roommates
There are many upsides to moving in with complete strangers.
Maybe your housing plans fell through. Maybe you're moving to a new city, be it New York, Paris, London or Jerusalem. Whatever the reason, you end up on that infamously weird but infinitely useful site, Craigslist, looking for roommates. Moving in with Craigslist strangers may seem intimidating. But it might also be the best decision you ever make. Here's why:
You learn how varied people's goals are
Your parents/friends/school probably instilled you with certain goals, be they earning money, excelling in a career or raising a family. But you may be surprised to find that people from different backgrounds have different goals, ones you never even considered, which teaches you that the goals you grew up with aren't the only ones. You might even decide that yours could use some updating.
You build a unique community
All of a sudden, you're part of a brave new community. You'll probably spend more time watching Netflix, talking about work and going on IKEA trips with your roommates than you will with your old friends or family.
You'll also have to deal with problems like "Wasn't Karen supposed to clean the fridge yesterday?" and "How do we find a subletter in two weeks?" You might try using something like U.S.-based Airbnb, which easily helps you temporarily rent out your room, or Israel-based startup Guesty, which helps owners respond quickly to potential renters.
In going through that together, you'll become a new sort of group, one that you really belong to because you helped create it.
You embark on weird projects
Chances are, you all have very different interests, and you'll end up getting pulled into each other's lives. Whether that means breaking a Guinness World Record or attempting to make unusual martinis, you'll get exposed to some pretty fun things you might never have heard about otherwise.
You get to know people you have nothing in common with
Most of the time, you're grouped with others like you. In your hometown, your friends and family often have nearly identical backgrounds. At college, other students have similar educational goals. But when you move in with Craigslist people, the only thing you automatically have in common with your new compatriots is that you happen to be living between the same walls.
So you get to know people from different places, of course, but you also meet people from different backgrounds, who speak different languages and have different experiences and worldviews. Your experience of humanity is no longer limited to people like you, and your world stops being divided up between "your kind" and "others." And that means ...
You learn that you can trust the world more
Living with strangers may seem scary at first. But once you do it, you discover that strangers just aren't that strange. In fact, some of them are pretty awesome. And that makes the world a much more comfortable place to live in.
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