A guide to being the perfect roommate

One of the many new experiences you have in college is having a roommate. Whether you know your roommate going in or you end up with someone completely random, you have to put up with them for an entire school year.

 

Don’t be passive aggressive

Does it bother you that your roommate’s side of the sink is way messier than yours? It probably annoys you, but you don’t want to bring it up so instead, you shove all her stuff to one side of the sink and glare at her while brushing your teeth. Does that sound like an ideal living situation?

Being passive aggressive about an issue that bothers you helps no one. If it is not enough of an issue to bring up, it is not enough to be mad about. If it is a big enough issue to address, then bring it up in way that doesn't attack them.

They may not realize they are bothering you.

 

Set boundaries

It is important to do this early so that issues don’t come up later. Do you not want your roommate to eat your food? Tell them In the first few days of living together.

Find a time to sit down with each other and have an honest discussion about what is and isn’t allowed. If you are living in a dorm, your RA will probably do this with you.

 

Respect their space

Once you have set boundaries, respect them! Don’t let friends use their stuff, even if they are not there. Don’t just assume that you can use their things because you let them use yours. Keep your space clean. This includes shared spaces such as refrigerators and microwaves.

 

Be mindful of sleep schedules

Is you class earlier than theirs? Respect that their sleep is important. On the flip side, do they have an 8 a.m. when you don’t have class until noon? Try not to be mad when their alarm goes off hours before yours.

Try to limit the number of times your alarm goes off. Also be mindful of turning on harsh overhead lights when they are sleeping.

 

Understand no one is perfect

They will get on your nerves, when you live that close to someone-- it's inevitable. It is also important to realize that you and your roommate might come from very different walks of life. Things like, culture and family background can make make communicating difficult. Always try to understand their perspective on things.

 

Understand you don’t have to be their best friend

While it might be nice to think of your roommate as a built-in best friend, that may not be the case. It is okay if you all don’t click; still be nice. You won’t have to live with them forever.

 

Check on them

You don’t have to hover over them or integrate them when they get home everyday, but ask them how their classes are. If they seem upset ask them if they are okay. Everyone likes to know they are appreciated.