Featured Image

Getting Along with Your College Roommate: What NOT to Do

Not everyone can become instant BFFs with their roommates--and that's okay! What is important is to at least be able to get along. Here's what you shouldn't do if you want a civil relationship with your roommate.

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.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

campus life college roommates dorm life dorms living on campus relationships roommates student life

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.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway



High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

Joan Franklin

Joan Franklin


I love this website and have been using it for years with my students. I originally bought products through Wintergreen Orchard House and appreciated having key facts at my fingertips when advising students. Your site is easy to access and offers a wide array of topics I need as a busy college counselor.

Wendy Thompson

Wendy Thompson

Owner, Westport Educational Consulting

I just discovered your site and LOVE it—fun, interesting, full of incredible information you can’t find anywhere else, and a godsend for those of us in the college counseling business. I am a fan!

Bri'Yana Brown-Dunn

Bri'Yana Brown-Dunn

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me gain interest in many colleges/universities and many scholarships. I would say the most helpful thing CollegeXpress has done for me is sending me emails that tell me certain types of colleges are interested in me as well as emails about scholarships that I can look at and possibly apply for.

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

College Matches