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A neighbor steps off of his porch to take a video of the Stewart family's dance routine in Athens, Georgia on Saturday, April 23, 2020. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach)

Navigating the quirks and quibbles of nearby college neighbors can be challenging, especially for those who may have a specific college experience in mind. For those who prefer quiet or those who enjoy party culture, finding a way to coexist with neighbors that are close enough to share a wall can be a trial-and-error experience.

Introduce yourself

One of the things that may put your mind at ease when living in a new place is knowing that your neighbors are just right next door. Introducing yourself and talking about common interests, clubs and organizations or jobs may help you to get a feel for your neighbors’ lifestyle.

Invite them to join you

If you and your neighbor are in similar social circles, and the circumstances are appropriately safe, invite them to get takeout from a local eatery, go on a walk at the botanical gardens or simply invite them to see your space.

Ask for a favor

By extending an open hand and asking your neighbor for help — borrowing an egg to bake a cake, asking them to get your mail while you are out of town or seeing if they can watch your dog while you are away — is a great opportunity to make them feel like you trust them. Don’t be afraid to return the favor when they ask!

Start a group chat

By creating a common space to ask about the neighborhood, classes, friends and other college issues, you and your neighbors can easily communicate. Then, when the party is getting too loud or you are wondering if your package got delivered next door, you are able to ask them without feeling stressed.


This article originally was published in the 2020 edition of our special publication Student Housing Athens, GA.