College

How To Be A Better Roommate 101

From a self-proclaimed roommate expert!

In my college career, I’ve experienced both sides of what I like to call “The Roommate Spectrum”. I’ve had the absolute best roommate, who is my best friend. And, the roommate of hell. So, these are a few things I learned on how to be a better roommate.

For many, college is the first time we live away from home. And then we move in with a complete stranger. The pressure of it alone is enough to create some tension. So, here are some tips on how to survive:

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Respect is the name of the game. I learned early on that your roommate does not have to be your best friend but she needs to respect you, and vice versa. This goes from respecting when you’re sleeping and not blasting music, to respecting your privacy and not dig through your stuff.

2. Set boundaries early on

Many people don’t think they need rules in order to live with someone. But the truth is boundaries need to be discussed. Some examples are: can people sleep over? Where should we throw out the burrito that will probably start to smell soon? And how often should we vacuum the rug?

Setting these boundaries early on will save you some major drama.

3. Do not let things build

Speaking of drama. When you are living with someone they will do something that will annoy you at some point. It’s gonna happen, there is no other option. So instead of keeping it to yourself and let you drive you up the wall while you’re acting all passive aggressive, just talk about it. Tell them how you feel and be honest but understanding. They will understand where you’re coming from and things won’t add up and blow up in your face.

This will also allow them to talk to you about any concern they might have and will save you some unnecessary fighting.

4. Listen to their requests

This goes along with what I’ve said before but listening to their needs and respecting them will create a better living situation for all. If they tell you they need their sleep, but you blast music all the time someone will start a fight.

5. Remember that it’s their space as well

Part of sharing the room is, actually sharing the room. Respect their side. Try to clean up after yourself. And remember that they deserve to be comfortable in their own space as much as you. For example, if you’re having a guest over make sure they’re okay with it since they will have to be there as well.

There is no reason why you wouldn’t have a great time sharing a room with someone. So, be respectful and understanding, and expect the same in return and it should be really fun!

Check out our downloadable Roommate Agreement! Put those boundaries in writing, have the conversation, and possibly discover your new best friend!metiza roommate agreement

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Maria is a senior at Hofstra University majoring in Journalism and Women's...