How to Learn to Love Your Roommate


At a school like George Washington, it is very common to be randomly assigned up to 5 roommates your freshman year. If you’re like me, you received your last choice for the housing lottery, a Thurston 6. Going into my first year at GW, I was nervous to live with 5 completely random girls and had no idea what to expect. While I grew up attending summer camps and weekend retreats, nothing could prepare me for living with 5 other people for an entire school year. Looking back, as a current junior, I wouldn’t trade my freshman or sophomore year roommates for anything. I was able to learn a lot about other types of people and myself. Here are some lessons and tips on how to learn to love your roommate(s):


  1. You may not be best friends!

Although college is an exciting time and you may go into living with new roomies expecting to be BFFs, this doesn’t always happen. While you may live well together, your social and academic schedules may be complete opposite of one another. If this is the case, respect their space and schedule. Be confident in what your plans are and who you are spending time with, if it is outside the dorm room bubble. If you are going to hangout with friends that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to bring along your roommate. Similarly, they may not include you in their weekend plans either. This is so OK and normal... branch out and meet people through student organizations, club sports, Greek life, and classes!

2. Keep an open line of communication.

Simple disagreements may come about between you and your roommate(s)... if it is smooth sailing 100% of the time, that is RARE. To keep the peace, keep an open line of communication if you are bothered by something. Letting your roommate know when something is bothering you or if you disagree with them is important for a healthy living space. This being said, don’t go overboard. You and your roommate don’t need to know each other’s every move and thought… so respect that! If you are bothered by something, whether it’s cleanliness, overnight guests, even morning routines, speak up so you can resolve it in a productive way.

3. Respect their privacy.

Living in close quarters with someone, the mixing up of clothes and other school supplies is bound to happen. Respect your roommate’s space, and more importantly, your own. Try your best to keep your belongings in your designated space, and they will (hopefully) do the same. If this isn’t turning out to be the case, talk to them! Scheduling bathroom use and mirror space can be tricky as well, so be respectful of each other’s time as best you can.

While these tips may seem common, I wish someone had pulled me aside to tell me these simple ways to successfully live with another person, or persons. Looking back, my previous roommates and I got through the year together, unharmed and in one piece! Be patient and lovable, and your roommate will be the same way!