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Seven Tips to Living with a Roommate

August 23, 2018

Living in close proximity of an individual that you don't know, or just haven't lived with before, is not for the faint of heart.

That doesn't mean it has to be a negative experience, though!

Here are seven tips for going above and beyond coexisting with a college roommate.

1. Discuss mornings

Compare class schedules with your roommate and see when their first class of the day is. Ideally, both of you have a similar schedule, but oftentimes that just isn't the case.

If one of you has an 8 a.m., and one of you doesn't have class until 10 a.m., how will you deal with being courteous of their sleep? If you're the type of person who enjoys snoozing their alarm for an hour, make sure your roommate isn't a light sleeper! Interrupting someone's sleep can be a source of tension in a close-quarters situation.

2. Go over bathroom habits

Choose dedicated shelves or areas where you will store your toiletries and respect the boundaries. Find out whether your roommate showers in the morning, evening, or both, and figure out how to coordinate your times if it looks like they might be overlap. Discuss taking turns taking out the trash, cleaning sinks/mirrors, vacuuming and purchasing toilet paper.

3. Address how you study

There are countless places to study outside of your dorm, but chances are, you will do some of your homework and test preparation in your room. A few all-nighters are inevitable, so find out if your roommate requires silence while studying, enjoys background noise or studies in a group setting.

4. Establish visitation ground rules

If you or your roommate has a romantic partner that is often frequenting your dorm, it will inevitably start causing friction on your relationship. If one of you has friends that are constantly making themselves at home in your shared small space, this will also cause strained feelings.

Discuss how often you are okay with having guests, how many guests you are okay with having at a time, how long you feel like the guests can stay and what time you think the guests need to go home. Everyone needs their privacy and space sometimes.

5. Don't judge a book by its cover

Appearances can be misleading, and if you go into the year with a negative perception of your roommate, you could be losing a great potential friend. Keep an open mind and prepare for the best, after all, college is all about branching out. Some of the best friendships form when people from entirely different backgrounds get together.

6. Invite each other to things

Who says you only have to see each other in the dorm? Try and engage in some campus or extracurricular activities together sometimes. You might find that this person is someone you genuinely enjoy hanging out with.

7. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

What goes around, comes around. If you get sick, do everything you can to disinfect every single thing you come in contact with in the room. If you just aced a big exam, but your roommate is in the middle of a 20-page term paper, hold off celebrating in the room until they are also feeling the good vibrations.

If you want to have guests over late at night, ask your roommate if they are okay with extra people in the small space. Close proximity + vengeful feelings= hostile living environment. Respect one another and you will have a great living experience.