Dorms & Living

How To Find (and be!) A Good Roommate

By: Ashley Sherlock

Finding your first college roommate can be a breeze or a full on hurricane of anxiety. To help save your emotions and your sanity, here is a list of things to consider on your quest for finding The One. 

  •  Start the search early. 

The sooner you start looking, the sooner you’ll find someone.  

  •  Ask about potential roomie’s bedtime and preferred room temperature. 

Being an early bird living with a night owl or the other way around can work, but it can also be sleep depriving. Being comfortable in your own living space is just as important as 

bedtimes. If you prefer to bring the frozen tundra indoors, you may want to open your search to Eskimos.  

  •  Ask about interests and involvement. 

I’m not saying that if you watch The Office and they prefer Parks and Recreation you should cancel the deal (because they are both the best). But if you can’t stand the music they’re inevitably going to play while getting ready in the morning, or if Greek life isn’t your cup of tea like it is theirs, you may want to continue the search. 

  •  Talk ahead of time.  

My first roommate and I found each other on Facebook and began getting to know each other to better prepare ourselves for move-in day. Getting acquainted and comfortable ahead of time made the first week easier. 

  •  Do not have high expectations.  

This is only to take some of the pressure and stress off of both of you during a naturally chaotic time. Fortunately, if this person still isn’t everything you dreamed, most schools will let you switch roommates at the end of the semester. 

If you’re like me when I was a freshman, you’re not used to having someone in your fortress of solitude every day and night. Roommate life is new and you may not be sure how it works or what the protocol is for being a good one. Fear not, for I have also assembled a list of roommate dos and don’ts! 

 DO clean up after yourself. Everyone talks about this because it’s true. Be respectful of yourself and your roommate and do your part to keep your space sanitary.  

 DON’T be rude. Noise pollution is real. If your roommate is asleep, don’t blare music or come crashing into the room at 2 a.m. Also, don’t force your roommate to go through an obstacle course of your clothes on the floor. 

 DO wear clothes. Please, for the love of all that is good, always be clothed. 

 DON’T be in your room all the time. Aside from the difficulties that would bring in trying to make friends, your roommate might resent you for depriving them of precious alone time. We all need some space every once in a while. Do yourself and your roommate a favor and leave the room for a bit. 

 DO be considerate. If you’re going to have friends over late, let the roomie know ahead of time. If you’re not sure how they’ll like something, ask about it. Better to ask first and know for sure than to do it without permission and endure the wrath. 

 DO resolve conflicts without being passive aggressive. We’re all human. We make mistakes and disagreements happen. It’s better to talk to your roommate about what they’re doing that bothers you so that it can be fixed. Coming up with a compromise is a good way to help keep conflicts under control.  

 DON’T be a freeloader. Your roommate is not your mom. Don’t expect rides or handouts from them constantly. Also, don’t let your roommate mooch off of you. Create boundaries that are clear to both of you so that no one is taken advantage of.  

 DON’T Eat. Their. Food. Just trust me. 

 DO Relax. Things will not always go the way you want them to and that’s okay. Part of the college experience is learning how to deal with multiple situations and people. Finding your healthy balance between totally chill and completely stressed will help you in every area of your life. 

As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

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