Dorming 101: How to Be a Good Roommate

Adapting to sharing a room for two instead of one is hands down one of the hardest transitions of college life. Your room is no longer your “sanctuary” because you now must share it with someone completely new. There are going to be times when you disagree (hopefully not too often), but hopefully these tips will help lead you on the path toward being named an amazing roommate.


Just Be Considerate

Rooming with someone is all about being considerate! This means being quiet while he or she is sleeping in the morning, refraining from talking on the phone all hours of the day, and using context clues to assume when they do not want to be bothered. If your roommate has headphones in, chances are they do not want to be distracted.

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Be Clear About Boundaries

If you don’t tell your roommate about your boundaries, he or she will never know! If you aren’t okay with drugs or alcohol being present in the room, you have to give them the heads up. Even if it comes down to a night out, let them know if you aren’t okay with people coming back to the room after a party. Boundaries are very important in creating a safe place for you and your roommate. Being clear from day one sets the standard for how the year is going to be or you will find yourself lost in what you originally said you were fine with.

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Ask Before You Do Something

Chances are if the thought crosses your mind, you should ask your roommate. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you want some of your roommate’s food, just ask. If you want to have someone come and spend the night, just ask. How well you get along with your roommate is going to depend on how well you communicate to each other. If you just assume everything will be fine, your roommate might become a little frustrated with you.

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Take Turns Cleaning

Cleaning is not the most fun activity that college blesses you with. However, it is something that must be done. Taking out the trash, vacuuming, dusting, etc. should all be a shared responsibility in common areas. When sharing a room with someone for the first time, generally, you should try to keep your side just as tidy as their side. Sharing the responsibility of the common area helps establish teamwork, so one person is not constantly picking up the slack for another. Also, nobody likes chores all the time, so if you split them, it goes faster!

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You Don’t Have to Be Best Friends

Everyone assumes that your college roommate has to be your best friend. You do not have to live with someone that will be in your wedding some day. In reality, you just need to tolerate your roommate. You don’t have to do everything together, but you shouldn’t be stressed about creating an amazing relationship with them. If you become best friends, that’s awesome; if not, don’t stress about it. Your roommate is really your first friend to help you branch out and meet other people because walking up to a table of kids can be pretty scary when you’re alone.

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Be Helpful and Thoughtful

If you know your roommate is going through a rough time, cut them some slack! Maybe write them a little note of encouragement before a big test. We all need a little extra support from time to time, so be there to give your roommate a little boost when they need it. Always have your roommate’s back in a time of need. If he or she is feeling homesick, maybe take them out to get it off of their mind. Being a little extra thoughtful once in a while will go a long way, and your roommate will definitely appreciate it!

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Have Open Communication

Not coming home for the night? Shoot your roommate a text and let them know. They will appreciate you reaching out and won’t stay up worrying about you. If your roommate makes you upset, don’t be afraid to let them know. It will be better to tell them than let the anger build up. If you want to have some alone time with someone in the room, just give them a heads up! Almost all of the time, your roommate will be accommodating to you as long as the favor is returned. Open communication will help your relationship with your roommate thrive.

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Overall, being a good roommate is all about communicating, sharing, and just being considerate. Everyone has their own way of how they would like to live, but with these steps you and your roommate can live cohesively. Everyone will have a fight with their roommate every once in a while, but you will learn to move past it. Good luck roommate hunting!