5 Rules For Being a Good Roommate

Living with other people isn’t always easy, but there’s a few rules that will help ensure that you don’t make things even more difficult. Small things can really add up when you’re spending a year in a cramped space. Don’t turn your living situation into disaster zone. Follow these rules and you’ll be living in paradise.

Be Upfront About Your Faults

Don’t hide who you are. Let your roommates know if you struggle with large piles of laundry or have a tendency to leave dishes all over. This does not excuse you from making these transgressions, but it will encourage them to speak up if they see you’re messiness is getting out of hand. Just let your roommates know ahead of time that you are not perfect, but you are going to try your best. This way they know that you care and are aware of the possible problem.

It’s a Home, Not a Hotel

There’s nothing wrong with having friends over to stay the night, but don’t make a habit out of it. Be sure to ask your roommates if it’s ok to have a friend stay over and try to keep it to one or two people, so you don’t crowd your dorm/apartment. No one wants to wake up and find strangers all over their floor. Your roommates may feel uncomfortable having people stay over often, so let them rest peacefully. If someone really wants to stay over for long periods of time, that’s really not fair to your roommates who are paying to live in the dorm/apartment.

Mind Sleep Schedules

Sleep is a precious resource in college. Be sure to establish ground rules on when you both will be sleeping. Students deprive themselves of enough sleep as it is, so don’t make it any harder on your roommate. If you’re blasting dubstep until three in the morning, chances are you and your roommates are not going to live happily ever after. Well rested roommates are happy roommates, so let them sleep.

Talk, Don’t Stalk

While it’s great to take an interest in your roommate’s life, you don’t need to know every little detail about their day. Give your roommate time to be alone. Don’t invite force yourself into their plans. And don’t hover around them constantly. Remember, you’re going to live together for a year, so you don’t have to become best friends in the first few weeks. A little time apart won’t hurt your relationship, it might just be exactly what you need.

Don’t Bottle Up Your Complaints

Communication is key in any relationship and your relationship with your roommate is not exempt from this rule. When you’re living with someone, little things that bother you will start to drive you insane. Don’t let these things build up into relationship destroying outbursts. Bring up any issues you have in a calm, respectful manner, so that you can deal with them before they get out of hand. If you don’t let your roommate know that something they are doing (like clipping their toenails in the living room) is bothering you, then how can they know to stop?

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.