Do’s and Don’ts of Living with New College Roommates

Rooming with new people is never an easy task.

You’re all thrown together, most of the time not knowing each other, and you’re expected to live in a confined space – either a dorm or an apartment.

There’s bound to be some troubles ahead, but don’t get caught doing the wrong thing in a blunder.

  • DO ask each other what they expect the cleanliness standard to be.
  • DON’T assume that everyone is a neat freak or that dirty dishes left unattended is okay.

Try to be reasonable with each other.  Living comfortably with others will always be a compromise, so talk out what the expectations are so that you’re not under a huge amount of pressure for the space to be immaculate or for it to be dirty beyond repair early on.

  • DO ask if other people/friends are welcome at your place.
  • DON’T bring over friends in the middle of the night without talking to your roommates first.

I’ve only had one issue with a roommate where I was woken up at 2 in the morning when she came home with her boyfriend and some friends pretty intoxicated.  I totally get that it’s college and things like this are bound to happen, but always ask your roommates first.

And if they are okay with the situation just give them a heads up before you waltz through the door without them knowing beforehand.  This way you won’t have to deal with a confrontation that may make living with each other awkward from there on out.

  • DO check to see if anyone is welcome to spend the night.
  • DON’T assume it’s okay that your boyfriend/girlfriend can spend the night whenever they please.

It’s common curtsey to ask this in my opinion.  However, some may think it’s an unspoken agreement that a significant other can come in and out considering the other person is paying rent.  In a sense I understand this.  BUT, and I mean this is a huge but, no one (not even yourself) is paying for your partner to be living there for a day or two.

You have to see that water is still being used for another person not on the lease, and food is being eaten that may be someone else’s.  Even used dishes and utensils can start an argument.  So, please ask before you think it’s okay.  Most likely your roommates will be A-Okay with it and will appreciate you asking beforehand.

  • DO communicate with your roommate in the beginning of the year.
  • DON’T assume that you know best and will decide this on your own.

I cannot stress this enough that you really need to figure out the little details in the beginning and fine tune it from there on out.

Instead of getting into little arguments, or even just getting frustrated at another person, you want your first experience away from home to be a good one.  So, deal with it in the beginning when you all move in and it won’t be a bid deal later on.

Remember that communication is always key. Assuming things or writing a note rather than confronting them face-to-face can be the difference of an unhappy home to a happy home.  Believe me, your roommates will appreciate the fact that you came to them first about a situation rather than stew about it then blow up later on.

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Kali White

Kali White

Kali White is a junior at the University of California, Davis pursuing a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Her goal is to have a career working for a publication company writing and editing. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, reading, playing and listening to music, and travelling.