It may seem scary to have one roommate in college, but try having to live under the same roof with three!
You may be complete strangers or you may know your roommates already. Regardless, you guys still don't know how to live with each other and you're unsure about how to approach situations. The most important thing is that you are a good roommate. In order to have a better college experience, it's important to know how to get along with each other and not have to be down each other's throats all day, unless you want it to be like that show "Bad Girls Club". Here are a few tips for being a good roommate so you'll have less arguments:
1. Wash YOUR OWN dishes please...
Seriously. No one wants to pick up after you. I am definitely not touching other people's wet food in the sink. Besides, there may be times when your roommates eat from paper plates or eat out and won't have to use the sink. It's not fair to assign days because how would you like it if it's YOUR day to wash and you didn't use a dish but there's still a pile of dishes in the sink from other people's stuff? (Also, if you have scraps on your plate, PLEASE dump the rest in the garbage and not in the sink.) Just to be fair so everyone can be happy.
2. If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, please be respectful of your roommates.
All you have to do is just ASK your roommates ahead of time. Remember, there is a difference between asking ahead of time vs just letting them know ahead of time, you get what I'm saying? If they say yes, just be mindful of others and try to be low-key. If they say no with a good reason, you're going to have to respect them. If you're sharing a room with another roommate, girl…just let them know. Most of the time, your roommate will understand that you and bae need privacy and your roommate will get the message. But please give them a time frame.
3. If you want to borrow something, ASK.
Whether it's food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, or a pen, ASK ME FIRST. I don't care if we are friends or how cool we are, the minute you take something without asking is an automatic sign of disrespect. If your roommate says you can use something or eat something ONCE, always ask if you want to use/eat it again. (In my case, saying "yes," for something is a one-time thing only so just keep asking me so I know how much of XYZ I have left!)
4. Always ask if you want a piece of your roommates’ food.
I cannot stress this enough. We all share ONE fridge so it's important to know which things you are willing to share vs things that you strictly want for yourself. If it helps, try labelling. If not, then make it clear that those CHICKEN NUGGETS are strictly yours. Even with space, just because you bought a lot of groceries doesn't mean that all that space is for YOU. Be considerate of your roommates and try to gage how much space is for you.
5. Don’t be a slob.
I am going to be completely honest, I don't make my bed every single day. Even when I lay my clothes out for the next day, I still become indecisive and throw unwanted clothes on my bed, and keep it to a minimum if I know I will put clothes away when I come back (which is only okay if you are in a complete rush). But if you are that type of person who is a slob 24/7, who leaves empty pizza boxes and dishes all over the place along with tampons and etc., you need to get it together. I usually like to organize my things unless if I have no time between classes. But it's always important to get to it...THE SAME DAY SIS.
6. If you like to listen to music, please don’t blast it at night or during studying times.
If you own a cell phone but don't own a pair of headphones in 2018, you need to re-evaluate your life choices. If you guys are BOTH listening to a song, it's okay; well, I mean it's just common sense to ask. Even when I ever happen to be alone blasting music and my roommate walks in, I always just switch to headphones without asking. Unless she randomly says "nah, you're good." But common courtesy is nice!
7. Take turns taking out the garbage.
In my apartment, my roommate and I have our own garbage cans for the room, one for the bathroom, and my other roommates across have their own as well. Some places have a main garbage can in the living room or outside in the hallway. It depends on how generous your university is. To work this out, it is YOUR responsibility to take out the trash from YOUR garbage can and take turns with your roommate for the bathroom. As for the main one, you all have to figure out how to take turns.
8. If any of you have any personal issues with each other, you STILL have to respect them as a roommate.
Even if you hate that person, you both live under the same roof and you still have to have a mutual respect for each other. But if one of them starts slacking and it's affecting YOU, you need to say something because this is your room as much as it is theirs. If they are trying to get a rise out of you, just handle the situation by getting your RA (if you have one in your apartment, especially an on-campus one) or if you are completely off-campus, you guys have to have a talk or even tell your landlord.
9. You actually have to do your part when CLEANING the bathroom…
It's actually annoying that you are the only one cleaning. If your roommates don't know, TEACH THEM. No one should be an upperclassman and not know how to clean. If you have supplies but don't know what to do with them, look up how. There is no way I should be telling you how to clean. It takes just 30 minutes, maybe even 20 minutes of your WEEK just to clean the bathroom.
10. Hygiene is IMPORTANT.
Like the previous one…should I really be explaining to you how to shower? All I want to say is that it's really important to be mindful of the people you are living with. Even if you are an athlete or you work out 24/7, it's still possible to have good hygiene! If you are shaving, make sure you clean up after yourself if you know what I mean!
11. Don’t slack on rent.
Your landlord has the ability to let you in and they have the ability to give you the boot too! The "I'll pay you back," excuse is getting old.
12. If you have a Brita filter, please change it frequently.
Unless you want some bad water, just change it…if you don't just disregard this one! (What I could say is that if you are a strict water bottle user and if you like to reuse, just don't leave them all over the place!) But then again, HOW MANY OF YOU GUYS EVEN OWN BRITA FILTERS?
13. Give your roommate(s) some space sometimes.
Our rooms may be cozy, but it's important to get out. Especially if your roommate wants some alone time and wanting to unwind and relax without you bugging them. Don't take it personal. In fact, you guys are going to get on each other's nerves. If you guys are all friends, you don't always have to do EVERYTHING together and you aren't obligated to be invited to events just because you guys are roommates. This needs to be established or someone is going to lose it.
14. Understand that you guys are adults and communication is KEY.
Having a one-on-one talk isn't as scary as you think. But having a "mediation" is not going to solve anything, I'll tell you that now. They are awkward, unnecessary, and you don't need the whole room to solve a problem that only involves 2 people (especially if they aren't willing to say how they feel at the moment). You guys are now adults and this is the place to LEARN.
15. Buy some extra toilet paper. Don’t just wait until it runs out.
You can get a pack for just $1 at Walmart. Cheap quality, but you need it. This is also a perfect point to stop being lazy. Also, if it helps, keep an extra roll in the bathroom so none of you guys have to crab-walk to the closet with your pants around your ankles…PLEASE provide yourself with extras to save the trouble.
16. Respect everyone else’s finances…most college students are broke you know…
Not everyone wants to go to that party, you know. Besides, who says "ask your parents" anymore?
17. Let your roommate(s) know if you’re having some friends over.
It's just like having a boyfriend/girlfriend. All you have to do is ask. I would put that word on a blimp for you to get the message. Your roommate will most likely not have an issue with friends over. But if it's 2 a.m. or if it's someone they aren't cool with, they ain't coming.
18. If it helps, make your own roommate agreement (even if you’re living in an on-campus apartment, don’t even rely on the ones your RAs give you.)
If you are living in an on-campus apartment, you're most likely going to have a roommate agreement. But those are generally basic. Make your own roommate agreement if you want things to be specifically followed. If you live off-campus, the same rules apply. Just make your own. And make sure you guys do it all together. And yes, you still have to cooperate even if you don't like your roommate. If you ever change the rules, make sure everyone else is on board with your decision to avoid making your apartment experience like "Bad Girls Club."