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The Do’s and Don’t’s of Living with a Roommate

Whether you have a random roommate or are living with your best friend, issues are bound to arise when two people are sharing a space as small as a Randolph dorm room.

During O-week, it might not have bothered you that your roomie’s lights didn’t go out ‘til 2am, and it was probably fun and exciting to have seven girls huddled with you in your room gossiping till 4. But now that classes have started and you have actual work to do, those late nights (and early mornings) feel more tense than fun. So here are some simple rules to help survive life with your roommate, and to help her survive life with you.

If you are the one who wants to stay up until the early hours of the morning and your roommate does not live on the same nocturnal schedule, make sure to be respectful of the fact that your roommate wants to sleep. Turning on the lights and slamming doors is not appreciated, as you will find out when your roommate is up a few hours later (only now the sun has risen) and does the same to you. After 11pm, it’s smart to go find another place to hang out with your friends, such as the common room, coffee house or in someone’s single – let your roommate get her beauty sleep.

Tidiness is another big one on the list of rules for happy shared living. Occasionally, we all let a few pieces of clothing pile up, but don’t let it get to the point where you can’t see the floor. You and your roommate need to both be comfortable in the room, and you can’t expect someone to live in your mess. There is a thin line between messy and dirty, and your roommate should not have to tell you when you’ve crossed it. Leaving food and dirty dishes around is just unhygienic. When things get that dirty, it’s not enough to keep your mess confined to your side of the room; you’ve got to bite the bullet and clean.

Sharing can also thrust you into the grey area. It is important to be generous, and it is really awesome when your roommate says it’s okay if you eat her breakfast bars. But if you take one every morning, you will no longer be welcome to any of her food. Same goes for clothing too. She may have said to borrow whatever you want, but always ask first; there is bound to be at least one thing in her wardrobe she won’t be okay with lending you. You may share some things with your roomie, but you need to remember that what is your roommate’s is not actually yours.

The golden rule of rooming though, is just to be generally respectful of your roommate’s living habits. The chance that you two have the exact same schedule is unlikely, but talk to your roommate if something bothers you. Don’t let it build up. The time you like to wake up in the morning is not a reason to ruin your friendship. Also, remember: if the situation becomes unlivable, don’t be afraid to ask to switch rooms. If you find the room that unbearable, your roommate probably does too. Freshman year should be fun and your room should feel comfortable, like home, to both you and your roommate.

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