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Reminders on How to Treat Your Roommate Now That You Are Comfortable

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

When you move into close quarters with people you deeply care about, things can get dicey. From dishes to laundry, to boys and clothes, it all falls into the same funnel eventually. This could cause some confusion with boundaries that are necessary for everyone to live comfortable and happy lives. Personalities will mesh and could create conflict if communication isn’t clear. Sometimes, even those who love you will step up to what they think is right and will hurt feelings that aren’t meant to be hurt. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun though! Everyone deserves to live in a safe and comfortable zone where no one is judged. Here are some reminders on how to treat your roommate after getting comfortable with one another.

Remember to respect the sh*t out of her. This is more than just staying out of each other’s rooms. Your roommate is awesome and doing the best she can, just like you. She is confident, smart, and beautiful and you know that you want to have the drive she does to be the amazing human that she is. Do what you can to let her know that you know her boundaries and respect her wishes when it comes to her life choices and privacy.

Know that she is an adult. Just because your world spins one way does not mean that your roommate’s world does too. Everyone makes different life choices. Your roommate is an adult and can make her own decisions. She is capable of taking care of herself and she knows what she wants. It is not your job to interfere unless you are asked to or she is about to be eaten by Godzilla. Let whatever happens happen and be there for her if necessary as she is for you. Know that you have to treat her life and sanctity with ease and kindness just like she will treat yours.

Have fun! Getting comfortable with someone you live with is great because you will have someone to hang out with when you get home. It’s like having a never-ending sleepover. Enjoy each other’s company and college in general. You both need happiness. Why not make magic and memories together?

Don’t talk behind her back. Even if you have a big mouth and a lot of emotionally charged ideas and feelings about your roommate and her life, don’t share them with others when she isn’t there to defend herself. In fact, you really shouldn’t say anything at all. It’s rude. It’s unfair. It’s mean. This isn’t high school. I don’t care if you care immensely about whatever is going on in her life. Treat every situation between you and your friend as a bond between only you two.

Apologize. When you are in the wrong, know when to apologize. Wait until you both are in the mindset to communicate after an altercation and apologize. Make sure she knows how sorry you are for everything that you did that could have hurt her. Just because it wasn’t your intention to hurt her, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. Do what you can to show that you are sorry for whatever you did and let her know how important she is to you as a friend and as a roommate.

Wait it out. Give your roommate space. Wait to tell her about your day after she is done with her paper. Trust that she does care about you but playing the waiting game is sometimes necessary with different schedules. As much as you want to go and give her a hug and tell her that you miss her and that you want to hang out, this is her time to get back to you if she feels like it. There is nothing wrong with her doing what she wants even if that means isolating for a bit. Let her have her time, as she should.

Keep to yourself. After a while, trust is built and comfort is established. You all are best friends and have no secrets. Don’t let that get in the way of your own thoughts, feelings, or secrets. You deserve to have your own thoughts. You don’t owe anybody anything. Don’t let something slip that you will regret later.

Don’t forget to ask. Congratulations! You and your roommate are the same size! She let you borrow that one skirt when you had to dress fancy for a presentation.  This is not an invitation to raid her wardrobe. Always ask before borrowing anything. You aren’t married. This is not a what’s mine is yours situation unless you are told otherwise.

Don’t shop till ya drop. However, you and your roommate have decided to buy groceries or pay rent or even pay for dinner dates, always jump on paying her back right away. Same with her paying you back. You both don’t need the stress of awkwardly asking each other for money. Be responsible for your own share.

Let her know what an amazing person she is. You guys are comfortable with each other by now. It is almost like you are living with a sister. Remember to let go of your comfortable state every once in a while and jump back to friend mode. Use what you have learned while living with your roommate and give her a compliment. Let her know that how she conducts herself is amazing. Tell her that she is seriously gorgeous and that she can get any guy she wants.  Let her know that she’s worth the world and more and that she does not deserve any pain. Tell her that you are lucky to have her. Let her know that her amazingness impacts the rest of the apartment and it wouldn’t be the same without her there.

Stop double swiping! Try as hard as you can to not date the same boys. You both may be in the same friend group/sorority/RSO, and everyone knows each other which makes it fine. NOT! On some level, in both of your heads, there is a tiny portion of ownership. Eventually, there will be a fight and someone will throw the first punch with “I saw Jeremy first!” It will just go downhill from there.

Use common sense. Remember the golden rule. Remember that what you do does not only affect yourself but others as well. Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you when it comes to boundaries and kindness. There is a line. Don’t cross it.

Don’t make each other’s life choices for each other. No matter where you both are in your lives, you both still growing into yourselves. Let each other make mistakes. There is no judgment allowed when it comes to growing. You have no right to get in her way of learning to shine her bright light and build up her life how she wants to. She is living her best life. She knows what she wants. She knows what is best for her. She knows what she needs. She knows when she needs a break and she knows what she needs to get that break.

Protect one another! While respecting boundaries and letting each other live your own lives that doesn’t mean you have to stop caring! Let each other in and bond over the woes of college. You both have raw hearts. Respect that and don’t let each other feel like that heart is broken. You guys are there for each other until the very end! You said so when you guys avoided homework and talked on the kitchen floor until 2 am that one time.

So, remember that even though you are comfortable with each other, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on being a good roommate. Enjoy your time together, but be careful with each other’s feelings. Forget the drama and make the most of your time with each other!


Shine Bright <3


Mimi McNulty

Illinois State '20

Hey there! I'm Mimi McNulty. I'm 22 years old and I am a Public Relations major at Illinois State University. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I want to turn the world upside down by telling it like it is. If I were to give a TED Talk it would be about how to sustain a wild heart. Please keep reading my pieces to receive your daily dose of hilarity, security and as much knowledge that I have to share! I'm here to say we've all been there. Shine Bright