Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

Helpful Hints on Roommates: Bad vs. Good Habits

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

Most college students begin their college experience by moving in to a foreign territory with a person that they only know the Facebook basics about. Half of the time they become friends with their new roommate on Facebook, exchange a few facts through chat, and get ready to move in with a complete stranger. After moving in, you get to know the real person you are living with and along with all of their possessions, come habits moving in to your new humble abode.  Here’s a few ways to keep the peace between you and your new roommate:
Know Your Boundaries:
What’s mine is yours isn’t always the case in these new scenarios for very long. In the beginning while trying to break the ice, you might allow the new roomie to borrow whatever their little heart desired, but now it’s gotten out of hand. They are constantly borrowing your things without asking and not putting them back where they belong and that can get annoying. It’s time to set up some boundaries, let them know it bothers you when they don’t ask to borrow your things and that you don’t like it when they aren’t back in their right places and vice versa for their things.
Clean is the Key:
Living in such a tight space could be all nice and cozy, but when it gets dirty it can just be nasty. Set up weekly cleaning duties for each roommate to keep your new place nice and clean. And if one of you likes to live on the messy side, just make sure that you both agree on a happy medium when it comes to the cleanliness of your room.

Just Having Fun:
If one of you has a wild side or a significant other, make sure to set some rules up for guests and sleepovers. No one wants to be a part of a very awkward situation, especially if it can be avoided.
Don’t Touch:
Being a college student can be very hard on your bank account and buying the necessities can sometimes even be a money issue. Food is a big money eater, but you have to buy it. If you don’t mind sharing food with your roommate then go for it, but if you have a problem write your name on all of your things. Or another option is to get different colored duct tape and put it on your food and your roommate do the same so you can differentiate whose food is whose.
Sleep Tight:
Sleep is key for a college student. Some like to get their full eight hours a night, while others pull all nighters four times a week. Everyone’s sleep pattern is different and this could become an issue when living in such a tight space.  An option is to sit down with your roommate(s) and discuss sleep and class schedules. That way everyone knows when it’s sleep time and what time they need to get up for class. And always try to be courteous of a sleeping roomie. You don’t want to start a war that could be avoided.

Living with someone new could be a very nerve racking experience, but it can also be a very positive experience. My mom told me my first year of college that you don’t have to be best friends with your roommate; you just need to live with them. And with that comes getting along and living through the trials life brings you.

Dorm Life Must Haves
Don’t Be Messy!

Emily is a junior at the University of Iowa and is studying Journalism and Pre-Law with a minor in Health Communication. She has been a part of the Her Campus University of Iowa team since it was founded in 2010 and is a member of Ed on Campus. She has grown to love magazine writing and editing and if she somehow can't land her dream job (to be Carrie Bradshaw), she wouldn't mind settling for a job in the magazine industry. If nothing else, she hopes to attend law school somewhere in the Bay Area out West, her favorite place to be. Since the age of 15, Emily spent her summers in California, doing internships and falling in love with San Francisco. Some of her other interests include her 4-month-old longhaired wiener dog Henry, blogging, celebrity gossip, sushi, Private Practice, fro-yo, being a journalism nerd, and anything involving good conversation with good people. Although she's not exactly sure of her plans for the future, she knows journalism will somehow be the driving force in her career.