Dos & Don’ts of College: Roommates

I am very fortunate that my first-year roommate has become one of my best friends. Below you will find some tips as far as how my roommate and I have kept up such a good relationship.  

Do establish boundaries and expectations

Most colleges have Roommate Agreements, and it is very important to take them seriously. Even if you think you and your roommate will never have problems, always put together a solid roommate agreement that you can reference if there are any problems. Here are some suggestions for what you and your roommate should discuss: 

1. Are guests okay? Who? How long? When? This goes for any friends that might come in during the day, and especially for significant others that you want to stay the night.   

2. Sleeping: Are you a heavy or light sleeper? Are you a morning or night person? These are crucial questions to go over because chances are one of you will have a really early or really late class and will have to be doing things in the room at odd hours.  

3. When is it okay to play music/TV/Movies out loud: Some people study best in silence, some need a steady stream of background noise. Either way, be sure to talk about what your preferences are and how you’ll each work around the other’s if they differ.  

4. Messy or Neat? Be honest!!! If you’re a messy person, just be honest about it. Your roommate is guaranteed to be more understanding if you are upfront.  

Don’t touch/borrow/rearrange their things or invade their space

Don’t assume whats theirs is yours: just because you borrowed a shirt once doesn’t give you the freedom to raid their closet whenever you want. Also, taking food is a very, very big no-no.  

Do be respectful of their routines and habits 

Being attuned to your roommate's routines and habits can be beneficial for both of you. For instance, if they mention that they have tests coming up and are stressed out, you know to expect them to be stressed and maybe not act like themselves. 

Also, if you notice they have to wake up earlier on certain days for early classes, try your best to be quiet the night before.

Don’t be afraid to be honest!

If you really cant stand the smell of their air freshener, or find their blaring music insufferable, tell them! Being annoyed and staying annoyed will just lead to outbursts that won’t lead to any compromises.