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Tips for Being a Respectful Roommate

Sometimes living with other people can be stressful, especially on top of all the stress of school. Unfortunately, that is not an excuse to treat your roommates terribly. Here’s your mid-semester reminder to help you maintain a good relationship with the people you live with!


1. If you have an issue with any of your roommates, be sure to address the issues as they come up. There is no reason to let things build up until there is a huge explosion.

2. During the week nights, be sure to respect quiet hours if you and your roommates are living on campus; if not, as a household, try sitting down and establishing a time that is fair for everyone when it is time to start winding down and being respectful of everyone’s sleep schedules. This includes stomping around any common areas and slamming doors-just tey to be respectful. College is stressful and everyone deserves a good night’s sleep! Weekends are a different story…

3. If you are having guests, whether they be someone from school or people who will be staying the weekend, it is respectful to ASK your roommates if they are okay with it! Generally, no one is going is to tell you no, but it is still fair to present an option in case there is something pressing that having guests present may not be appropriate.

4. If there is going to be a guest of the opposite sex it is generally a good idea to give your roommates a heads up! Some girls are not comfortable not wearing a bra, pants, etc. if there are going to be guys in the house (which is fair!) and giving a heads up will ensure that everyone is comfortable in their home…you are sharing this house/apartment/dorm room with other people!

5. Share household responsibilities and acknowledge it when another roommate makes an effort to do chores and clean the house. Be respectful of a newly cleaned house and take your shoes off, rinse your dishes, and clean your toothpaste out of the sink.

6. Everyone is entitled to their feelings, but do not make only your feelings important. If someone comes to you with something that upset them, LISTEN.

7. Communication is key!!! You can’t be upset that the relationship between roommates isn’t working if not all parties are making equal effort!

8. If you adhere to general respectful roommate guidelines and things still aren’t working out, it is fair for you to want to remove yourself from the situation and find a better living arrangement. That being said, do not place blame on any one person or any one incident. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and your roommate(s) could have similar issues or different issues with the arrangement. If one of you is unhappy then the rest most likely are not happy either. No one wants to be unhappy especially with their living arrangements. Make the transition as amicable as possible; ending things on a sour note isn’t good for anyone!!

9. If you do decide to leave, be a decent human and have the conversation in person with your roommates, things can get lost in translation if done over text. If you and your roommates are off campus, understand it is your responsibility to help find a new roommate. You signed a legal, binding contract. Some landlords will even still make you continue to pay rent if a new person isn’t found. I don’t exactly hear of many people who want to pay rent for two places, especially when they aren’t living in one of them.

10. Don’t touch other people’s things without asking! And if they say no, you need to respect that. It may seem silly, but for someone who is already stressed something as little as touching their things without asking could turn into a huge argument. For me, that is one of my major pet peeves. Just ask! If you’re polite there’s usually no reason to say no. 

Hopefully these tips remind you to be respectful to your roommates, even as the most stressful time of the year (aka finals) approaches.




Emily Barry

Oneonta '19

Hey everyone! My name is Emily Barry and I am currently a senior at SUNY Oneonta! I am a biochemistry student and when I'm not drowning in assignments, I like to read, spend time with friends and family, and binge watch shows on Netflix! Keep up with my articles or follow me on Instagram/Twitter (@emilyrose0328) to get a glimpse at what's going on with me!
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