Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

How to be a Better Roommate, Especially During COVID

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing a space is way trickier than it was before. We are all stuck in our dorms or apartments — spending a lot more time together than we ever would’ve expected. 


So, here are some tips to help us be better roommates and get through this crazy time!


Be Mindful.

Work with each other in your space. Depending on what your living situation may be, you might not have that much space to spread out. Regardless if you’re in a small dorm, a decent sized apartment, or a whole house, you must be respectful of one another. 

Silence and mindfulness is especially important when your roommate is on the phone, in a meeting, or in class. It’s hard staying at the same desk every day, so having a mindful roommate makes it easier. If your roommate is in a class and you get a call, use your headphones and step out into the hall. 

Another thing to be conscious of is alarms. If you ever have to get up before your roommate, let them know — especially if you’re the kind of person that needs multiple alarms. It is never fun when your roommate wakes you up before you need to be.

If you don’t look out for each other when it comes to little things like this, it could create some annoyance. Just do what you would expect your roommate to do, too.


Keep it clean.

It is super important to keep your area clean. Break up the chores and designate them so that everyone knows how they should contribute. 

Or, if you don’t want to designate chores, just be conscious and clean up your own messes. Don’t be the roommate that leaves dirty dishes in the sink.


[bf_image id="q1m5rf-6iczhc-faegn2"]


Have your own alone time.

Sometimes we all need alone time. Personal time helps roommates avoid tension. Don’t eat every meal together and don’t always do your homework together. Do some of these things by yourself! 

At the end of a long stressful day, sometimes all you want is to watch Netflix alone in your bed. Make sure this can happen and tell your roommate you need to cuddle up with your headphones — it's normal. 

Other fun things to do on your own are getting out of your dorm/apartment, grabbing lunch, and finding a place to study for part of the day. This can help you feel less trapped in your living space. Balancing the time that you spend with your roommate(s) is one of the best things you can do. 


Don’t overstep and be honest.

Always ask your roommate before you borrow or use anything of theirs. Unless it is something that has been decided to share, it is always safer to ask. You should always talk about these conflicts, along with any others, as soon as they arise. 

Don’t be annoyed about something and expect it to change if you never tell them what is bothering you. This is how most problems start between roommates. So, even if you have to ask for space or for them to clean their own dishes, it’s better than being quiet about it.


Have fun together!

This is the most important one out of all. Days can go by so fast when you’re in class and doing homework all day, so keep each other on track and know when it’s time to stop. 


Just talk, watch a movie, or go on a walk around the beautiful campus we are still lucky enough to take advantage of. Stay safe outside and be mindful of your distance. As long as you do that, going on a walk together can really help to clear your mind, relieve stress, help you not feel so trapped, and get some exercise. 


At the end of the day, living with roommates is something we all have to do, and being a good roommate isn’t that hard. Just remember to do what you would expect of your roommate. If something bothers you, bring it up right away instead of waiting. Most conflicts can be avoided. My roommates and I have found such a great balance because of these tips. I can only hope that you all find people you can live well with, too!

Marlena is a fourth-year in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Psychology and Digital Media Trends & Analytics. She is so grateful to be at Penn State and loves learning more about communications, her peers, and herself every day. She hopes to use this knowledge and her own positive outlook to help others in any way she can.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️