As a college student, one of the biggest adjustments you’ll ever have to make is learning to live with other people. I went into my freshmen year thinking that living with a roommate would be a breeze because I grew up living with two rowdy brothers. Boy was I wrong. Roommate horror stories are pretty common, and I’ve had a few of my own. To ensure that you’re not that awful roommate everyone talks about, follow some of these tips I’ve provided.
Be honest from the beginning
Do you hate when people snore? Are you a neat freak? Need absolute silence when you study ? Let your roommate(s) know about your preferences and quirks immediately. Upfront communication is one of the best ways to solve problems before they become real problems. Setting boundaries and understanding each others flaws will help build a lasting relationship.
Respect your roommate’s stuff
Don’t borrow, use, or take any of their belongings without asking permission first. I can’t emphasis this enough. Even if you don’t think they will mind, it’s respectful to always ask first. This tip is especially true for girls. I’ve learned from experience that nothing is worse than looking in your closest and realizing one of your favorite shirts is missing.
Do your dishes
Dishes left in the sink is one of my biggest pet peeves. The apartment I’m currently living in has one of the worlds worst dishwashers and because it hardly ever works, my roommates and I have to resort to hand washing all our dishes. I’m sure you can guess why this has become an issue. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve heard myself and my roommates say, “I’ll clean my dishes tonight, I promise.” There are days when I swear the dishes are piled to the ceiling. And not mention they smell horrible. So try and make a serious effort. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to clean your dishes as you use them instead of waiting to clean a bunch of them at the same time.
Keep your area clean
Similar to the last tip, this one is just as important. It may seem that one of the joys of college is your mom isn’t there to yell at you to clean your room, but I’ve learned that this can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re a neat freak you don’t need to worry about this tip, but what should you do if your roommate is messy? After doing some research I found a great website that provides a list of the top ten ways to help keep your dorm room clean. Maybe you could explain to your roommate you prefer a clean space and show them this list? Three years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to handle this.