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Whether it be your living in a dorm on campus, an apartment with friends, or a house with a partner, you never want to be known as the bad roommate. At some point, you may have even dealt with this infamous bad roommate. While you may not be able to control others, you can control yourself so here are some tips on how to be a good roommate!

Firstly, and arguably most importantly, practice good communication with the people you’re living with. This can range from something as small as deciding where to place a plant in common areas to something big like how late you want guests to be in the home. If you discuss those smaller conflicts with your roommates when it comes to the more serious things, it will feel more natural as you have developed a better understanding on how to resolve issues with them. An important part to this is resolving conflicts proactively. When you first move in, have a meeting to decide on what temperature the air-conditioner will be set to. Throughout this process, it is important to be considerate of what your roommates’ desires are too. 

Which brings me to the next tip, be respectful. If you know your roommate has a career-defining exam in the morning, maybe you should bring your friends to a bar instead of partying at home. Sometimes it can be easy to forget about other people’s livelihoods, especially during the stressful time that is college. However, when you are under a pressure cooker for class and need to study hard, you’d like to do so without the distraction of people chattering and loud music. At the end of the day, everyone here is just trying to pass their classes and graduate. Just remember that whenever your roommate asks for a quiet night or two.  

Now that you’ve learned to communicate and be respectful, the last thing to focus on is cleanliness. A general rule of thumb, if you make a mess, clean up after yourself. This gets a little tricky when talking about general chores such as taking out the trash or vacuuming/sweeping the living room. Luckily, with the communication skills you’ve practiced, you and your roommates can discuss a system that works for everyone. The key to this is actually sticking by the system your household develops. No one likes living in an apartment that has some mysterious odor seemingly clinging to the walls, so just be sure to clean up often enough. 

Oh and last but not least, DO YOUR DARN DISHES!

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