Roommate Etiquette: 10 Tips from the Savvy

By on August 21, 2014
Roommate drama

When you first move into Blazer or Camp Hall, you won’t have your own bedroom, so here is a quick guide to avoiding roommate conflicts.

1. Negotiate the Ground Rules

Key word? Negotiate. Let your roommate know your basic preferences on cleaning the space, music volumes, sleep habits, etc—on the first day you talk or meet—and listen to them, too. Find a common ground; you’ll love yourself for it.

2. Keep to your Personal Space.

General rule of thumb: roommates should never toss their nasty underwear into someone else’s space or leave crusty toothpaste  in someone else’s drawer. Be polite! Moreover:

3. Be Firm, yet Accommodating

At first, you and your roommate might get along well and be the best of friends. But then, it happens—that one thing that ticks you off and shuttles you into the pits of your rage. An annoying alarm clock that goes off 5 times in a row, setting the toilet paper roll the wrong way, whatever. Whenever happens, though, be diplomatic and discuss the issue with them.

4. Keep Personality in Mind

If you’re having a difficult time with your roommate, just think: “could I be friends with this person if they weren’t my roommate?” Everyone has their little habits that may infuriate others, but be positive and focus on the person’s merits rather than on what annoys you.

5. Don’t Leave Nasty Notes around the Room.

Aggressive attitudes aren’t cute, but passive aggressive actions aren’t pretty either, folks. If you want something to be done, 1) consider if you should do it yourself, then 2) ask them politely in person.

6. Don’t Expect to be Friends

Speaks for itself. Sometimes, friendships bloom, and other times, they fall flat at the “roommate” level. Just keep it casual.

7. Have Other Friends, Too.

Whenever we get gum stuck to our shoes, we get annoyed. You don’t want to be that wad of gum. If you become good friends with your roommate, great! Fantastic! But always keep your circle of friends open.

8. Unless You Like Drama, Don’t Gossip.

For God’s sake, don’t talk “crap” about the person with whom you live. Now, we could talk morality all day, but when it comes down to it, should they hear your “opinion” of them, it’ll get nasty . Fast.

9. Want to Hook Up with Someone?

Don’t have sex with someone while your roommate is there, too. I’m sure you wouldn’t care if your roommate was drunk, but you wouldn’t want them doing their “sexy” business on the other side of your room. That isn’t cute, so you shouldn’t do it either. No one wants to be an accidental voyeur.

10. Sometimes, It Just Doesn’t Work Out.

Like romantic relationships that were never meant to be, maybe you and your roommate need to break up. If so, be civil and move in with a different roommate. You’ll probably thank yourself for it.

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About Rhiana Simon

Neuroscience student. Aspiring researcher, writer, and avid insect collector.
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