Getting Along with Your College Roommate: What NOT to Do

Student, Clear Lake High School

Apr   2016



Roommates…they can become your best friend or the bane of your college existence. Many students are not used to sharing a room with someone else, especially a complete stranger. And not everyone can become instant BFFs with their roommates—and that’s okay! Since you will be spending at least nine months with them, it is important to at least be able to get along. It’s a good idea to set some ground rules ahead of time, as there are some things that should be understood from the beginning. Here’s what you should not do if you want a civil relationship with your roommate.

1. Be extremely messy

No one likes a slob. You don’t have to scrub the room down every day, but make sure your things aren’t all over the floor, and don’t leave hairballs or gross leftovers around. Part of living in a dorm is about being independent, so you can’t continue to rely on your mother or your maid. Just keep your side of the room somewhat neat.

2. Be loud, especially at night

If you want to party, don’t do it in your dorm room. If you can see that your roommate is studying or trying to sleep, don’t blast your music or have a loud conversation on your phone. You don’t want to be the reason that he or she fails that biology test the next morning.

3. Bring significant others into the room without your roommate’s permission

It can be really awkward for your roommate to be an unexpected part of your date night with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Make sure to let your roommate know of your plans ahead of time so that they have time to make other arrangements if necessary.

4. Borrow your roommate’s things without permission

Stealing is wrong! It is definitely acceptable to ask your roommate if you can borrow those adorable Oxfords you like. But it is not okay to sneak them out of her closet when she’s not there. Just because your roommate’s things are in your room, that doesn’t mean they are yours to take.

5. Be offensive, rude, or inconsiderate in any way

Your roommate is a person too. If you know something bothers your roommate, try your best not to do it. You will probably expect the same courtesy from him or her as well.

Just be mindful of the fact that someone else is sharing this small space with you. Follow these tips, and you might be on your way to matching Halloween costumes or late-night slumber parties with your college roommate. Even if you don’t end up becoming soul mates, at least you won’t be living with someone who hates you.

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About Saima Choudhury

Saima is a Desi Muslim high school student and amateur enchilada taste-tester. She's a lover of dark chocolate, late-night comedy, and alternative rock. She's just your average lazy, procrastinating teenage girl, save for the fact that she doesn't see the big deal about Starbucks, doesn't have an Instagram (or Twitter, or Tumblr, or Facebook), and wouldn’t be caught dead in Uggs or leggings as pants. She's also really interested in science and international relations.