Five tips for surviving your roommate

August 29, 2013

Make the best of your freshman year—starting at the residence halls

Between working and playing hard, freshman year can be one of the most memorable years of your life—so make your room a place you can call home and create a relationship with your roommate so you’re happy to come home to his or her smiling face.

5. Keep communication lines open. Make sure to keep communication lines open so both of you can address conflicts early. After all, if you let problems build up and it turns into a huge fight, who gets to slam the door?

4. Respect privacy and property. So your roommate has really cute clothes, homemade cookies, or a journal you’re dying to read… sorry, but off limits. Even if you and your roommate are BFFs, respect is the key to making a roommate-ship work. Always ask to borrow your roommate’s things or take food—broken respect is one of the hardest things to fix, so always ask, and you won’t have to worry about it.

3. Be friendly, without expecting a best friend. Whether you’ve really hit it off or have gone your separate ways, always be courteous to your roommate. Even if right now you don’t see yourself hanging out beyond the room, have an open mind—things can change. If your relationship really does stop at being roommates, that’s perfectly fine too. Just try to keep your room a comfortable place for both of you to live together.

2. Be considerate of personal habits and choices. Going to bed super early or staying up all night, studying like crazy or never opening a book, making sure the room is spotless or making spots all over the carpet—some people’s habits and choices may drive other people up the wall. By being considerate of each other’s lifestyles and compromising at times, living together for another semester and a half will be much easier.

1. Follow the Golden Rule. No matter what situation you get in to with your roommate, you can always fall back on the Golden Rule—treat others how you want to be treated. Cleaning up after yourself, not spreading embarrassing rumors, and being mindful of your roommate’s schedule are all things you would want in return. Also, be reasonable about visits from friends… and people who are more than friends. And always remember to put a tie on the doorknob if necessary. If your relationship with your roommate is a complete disaster, just remember that it’s only one year in your life, and enjoy your freshmen year anyway. On the other hand, if you found your lifelong best friend, well then, enjoy that as well.

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