It’s not easy to live with someone you may or may not have anything in common with. There are difficulties involved with communication, personal space and anything else you may not be used to sharing. But roommates are good for you. They help you find out what you like and what you don’t like, and they can also help you develop an understanding of the way that you want to be treated, and what you deserve as an individual.
Here are 10 tips on how to be a better roommate:
While you were sleeping…
Industrial design freshman Carolina Delgado shared this piece of advice: “Don’t (have sex) where you sleep.” I’ll let you and your roommate talk about that one on your own, but you should remember to be respectful when it comes to a shared sleeping space. With a little compromising, you might just come to a good agreement about when having someone over is appropriate or not.
Don’t make it Awkward.
There is nothing awkward about trying to make your living space more comfortable, or expressing what you think about the space you share. You can tell people what you want or need for them to do without feeling ashamed or awkward. Know what you want, and make sure that it is respected by speaking with your roommate openly and kindly.
Talk To Me.
Talk to your roommates. You are both living together for months at a time, and while you are bound to step on each other’s toes a little bit, don’t keep it all inside. Open communication is always the way to go. Don’t let resentment build.
You are both away from your families, and you will both experience a rough patch here and there. Ask about your roommate’s day. Encourage them when you know they have an exam coming up. Talk. Listen. Feel the companionship.
You don’t know me like that.
Don’t be overly clingy with your roomie. If your relationship does not warrant a specific inquiry into their whereabouts, then let it be! Stop asking them where they’re coming from or where they are going to — that can get creepy when you don’t know them well. Sometimes they’re just walking back into the room. Don’t ask me, “Where did you go?” I go a lot of places—class, meetings, rehearsals, dope chill sessions, hangouts, the water fountain, Carrel Space No. 16, the lounge area.
Don’t be distant.
Being a good roommate isn’t just about not suffocating them with your presence. It is equally rude to keep your awesome personality to yourself. Find a happy medium. When you are both in the room, say hello to each other, and when you leave it’s polite to say goodbye. Be kind and respectful. Most importantly, when you see your roommate in public, acknowledge them. You sleep two feet away from them and wash your hair in the same shower; that’s an unbreakable bond—give them a shout out in public.
Rely on Your Roommate.
Your dorm is your new home base. Keep in touch every now and then. Let them know that they don’t need to worry about your wellbeing. Maybe, just maybe, you two will even become friends.
But Also Don’t.
Make other friends, and enjoy spending time outside the four walls of your dorm room. If you cling to your roommate, you will keep yourself from the amazing opportunities that having other friends might bring.
What About Those Passive Aggressive Notes?
We all know that being passive aggressive is one of the most effective, kindest and perfect attempts to let someone close to you know that you are upset. Not. Be straightforward with your roommate—being passive aggressive might be fun at first, but it’s unfair to the people you live with.
Don’t borrow your roommate’s towels and share them with the person you are sleeping with.
I think that this one speaks for itself? You’d think it’d be common sense, and yet…
Bonus Tips (if you still don’t get it):
- You can be messy, but keep it on your side.
- Noise pollution is an issue.
- Taking Turns: Are you wearing headphones to watch Netflix, or am I wearing headphones to listen to my dope playlists?
- “Can I borrow this?” is always a good question to ask.
- You’re a good singer, but chill.
- Light-hearted banter is fun, but let’s talk about politics.
- Please don’t leave ____ on the floor.
- I don’t care that it was 3 a.m. and you were drunk. I still heard you say I smell.
- 9. Yeah, I’m a liberal arts major. Go ahead and judge me—it feeds me.