How to be a good college roommate

How to be a good college roommate

If going away to college will be your first experience living with anyone other than your family members, you have an adjustment to get used to. It is important that you do not allow your inexperience to ruin your dorm-living experience. In order to be a good college roommate, follow this advice:

Don’t be a slob

I’m not saying you have to be completely obsessive-compulsive about the cleanliness of your dorm room, but you should strive for an at-least-mediocre level of neatness. If you’re used to having your mother pick up after you clear the table, doing the dishes, cleaning your bedroom, cleaning the shaving cream out of the bathroom sink, etc. you are in for a world of change.

Your roommate is not likely to appreciate having to step over your dirty underwear every morning on his or her way out to an early class. Likewise, your roommate will not be pleased with the sight of your molding food plates and mugs of old coagulating coffee. College is your opportunity to enter the world of adulthood, and adults clean up after themselves. Think about it: if you cannot manage to keep a tiny dorm room clean, how are you going to maintain a home after you graduate from college and enter the workforce? Start developing good habits now.

If your roommate is a slob, and you are getting fed up, you are certainly entitled to approach them about the situation. Be diplomatic, though; mention it only very casually the first time in a very friendly manner, and if it persists, then you’ll have to get a little more serious in your discussion.

Be open-minded

Chances are that you did not get to choose your roommate, and therefore the two of you may be very different from one another. Your roommate also may be very different from the people that you are accustomed to hanging around with. He or she may be very different from anyone that you grew up with even. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Variety is the spice of life, and you might really benefit from meeting someone so different from yourself. Remember, opposites can attract, so you may end up making a lifelong friend out of this seemingly unfit pairing. You owe it to yourself and your new roommate to at least give your friends a chance. I will admit, there is a chance that the two of you were truly ill-fated for each other, and you are not destined to be buddies at all.

Even if that is the case, you should still try to get as much of the experience as possible. In the real world, you have to be polite and respectful to people that you do not like, so try to consider this a crash course in diplomacy. Hopefully, next year you will have much better luck.

Be considerate

If you have a tendency to talk on the telephone late into the night hours, and you’ve noticed that your roommate likes to turn in early for a solid ten hours of sleep, do your best to keep your voice down, or if you can, go out in the hallway to talk on the phone late at night. Also, do not play loud music while your roommate is trying to study for an important exam. You will want the same courtesy in return, but don’t expect to get it unless you are respectful and courteous to your roommate.

If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend on campus, don’t alienate your roommate by getting intimate while he or she is in the room. If both of you have significant others, you can work out a schedule so that the two of you can each have your own private time with your mates. If you love to drink and party, but your roommate is more of a stay-at-home type, you should keep your partying out of the dorm room.

Face it: you’re not supposed to be doing it anyway, so unless your roommate enjoys the fun as much as you, you have to take the party elsewhere. If you’re going to be having out of town guests stay with you for a weekend, make sure that you give your roommate some notice so that he or she can prepare for the company. Try to introduce your roommate to any friends that you have back to the room.

Also, always remember to lock your dorm room. Theft is an all-too-common problem in college dorms, and you do not want to be responsible for having your roommate’s stuff stolen. Always ask if you want to borrow something from your roommate, as you would expect the same courtesy in return.


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