Going to college means you get to experience freedom (no parents!), fun and, of course, living with a roommate. If you’re like most students and get your first roommate by the luck of the draw, it’s possible you could end up with many stories to tell.
You may have good stories like how you remarkably have all the same interests or how your roommate got you food from the dining center when you were sick. Or bad stories like he never washes his clothes (which are in one large, smelly pile in the middle of the floor), he uses your iPad without permission or she locks you out of the room all day (and night) when her boyfriend comes to town.
Although you may have certain expectations for your college roommate, he or she probably has expectations for you, too. Being a college roommate is a two-way street, though. So, how can you be the best roomie you can be?
Keep it clean. The room doesn’t have be pristine, but it goes a long way to create a pleasant living environment if you keep your dirty clothes in a hamper and not on the floor. If you use a shared microwave, clean it up if your SpaghettiOs lunch explodes all over it, and wash the dishes you use (so they don’t start to reek, mold or attract creepy crawly insects).
Be considerate. If your roommate has an 8 a.m. class and needs to go to bed early, be kind and don’t blare your music, video games or have friends over when she’s trying to sleep. Hopefully she’ll be just as considerate when you need quiet time to study or sleep!
Respect each other’s space. You’ll each have your own desk, bed and even a closet and/or dresser. There’s no need to go through your roommates things when he’s not there. Also, remember to ask your roommate permission to borrow her earrings or use his PlayStation before you use it. You wouldn’t want your roommate to take your stuff without asking, would you?
Talk about problems. If you experience an issue with your roommate, talk to him or her (in a calm tone of voice) before it escalates. Be open to hearing his or her point of view, and be willing to compromise to find a solution. If there’s a huge issue you can’t deal with through talking directly with your roommate, ask your Resident Assistant (RA) for help.
Be realistic. Living in the dorms should be fun, but no roommate will be ideal. You’ll likely have disagreements and she may get on your nerves now and then, but remember, your roommate is human just like you. And, it’s perfectly fine if you’re just roommates and don’t become BFFs.
For more tips on being a good roommate check out Saint Louis University’s How to Be a Roommate guide, Washington College’s Roommates 101 videos and tips and the University of Colorado-Boulder’s 10 Crucial Tips for Getting Along With Your Roommate.
Image credit: Courtesy of Brenda/Sweetapathy, Flickr Creative Commons
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