Ever since I was a freshman in college, I've had a variety of...interesting roommates. I'm not here to brag about how great of a roommate I am, because we all have our flaws, but I'm pretty confident that after all I've seen and dealt with over the years, I have a pretty good idea of what it means to be not only a considerate roommate but a decent human being. If you're curious about whether or not you're a good roommate, read these simple tips, and don't be afraid to passive-aggressively pass it along.
1. If you have a properly functioning dishwasher that is a foot away from the sink, some dish soap, and a sponge, you should use it.
Not only does a sink full of dishes make you look like your parents never made you do a chore a day in your life, I'm going to let you in on a little fun fact. Leftover food remnants attract bugs and just look and smell disgusting. Do you want to be considered the dirty, lazy, spoiled, bug-attracting nuisance of your household? No? Okay. Then stop pretending like you have carpal tunnel and use your healthy wrist to pick up your sponge and use it in a circular motion and then gracefully open your dishwasher and insert the dish inside. Good job.
2. Don't complain about your roommates being "too loud" at completely normal hours of the day when productive humans are usually alive and, ya know, doing stuff.
I had a roommate who would repeatedly go out until anywhere from 5 to 8 in the morning and then complain about me talking on the phone at 2 in the afternoon. Sorry honey, but it's not my fault that I actually woke up at a decent hour and do normal things around my household at normal hours. You're not a princess. Moral of the story: If somebody pays just as much rent as you do, they can walk around their house and partake in standard activities during daylight hours.
3. However, be considerate if your roommates are doing things that require quiet hours, like studying.
Being hungover and studying for finals are two completely different things. If you know that your roommate is going to be in their room cramming for an exam that they have the next morning, it'd probably be a better idea to have the pregame at somebody else's place or turn down your blasting music. Think about how you would feel if you were in the same position.
4. Don't hesitate to pitch in and buy some cleaning supplies and general household items.
News flash: Even little things like Lysol wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher detergent, garbage bags, and other toiletries of that nature cost money. Sometimes I'll go to Walgreens for a couple things for the house and end up spending $60. What the hell? Who prepared me for this ADULTERY? On top of that nonsense, some people just think they're somehow exempt from purchasing anything for their house/dorm/apartment because they're "broke". Uh, yeah buddy, I'm broke too because I'm the one always buying the stuff you wipe your butt with every day. Be a doll and go out and buy some essentials without being asked. Hooray for not being a mooch!
5. Don't assume that there is some magical fairy that comes to your house and cleans while you're sleeping.
I swear people will just leave trash and cups and wrappers and empty beer bottles and crumbs everywhere for days and wait for it to suddenly disappear. "All gone! Wow, the magical cleaning fairy must've stopped by again. She's so great." Bitch, I'm the cleaning fairy. When my OCD tendencies can't take it any longer, I give in and clean your mess because I personally don't prefer to live in filth. No matter how messy you are, keep it behind closed doors. Be a creepy swamp rat in your own room for all I care, but living areas are for everyone to live in.
6. Don't let your significant other live with you rent-free.
We get it, we all want to hang out with our boyfriend or girlfriend and have adult sleepovers all the time, but I would highly suggest watching "Broad City" on Comedy Central and learn about who Bevers is. To make a long story short, your significant other shouldn't be eating everybody's food, taking showers every day, doing their laundry frequently, and hanging out all the time even when you're not there. That means they think they live there and don't have to pay utilities and rent like the rest of us.
7. Respect people's space...and more importantly, their food.
This is something that you would think is a no-brainer. Nobody wants to come home, excited for their leftovers, only to find out that they have been ransacked and annihilated. For example, I had a really bad day at work one day. Didn't make much, had to deal with some rude customers, and I thought about how happy I was going to be when I finally laid down in bed and ate my bag of pretzel m&ms. Low and behold, they were gone and shoved into my roommate's trash. Don't be that guy. If you have a car, or even a smartphone, delicious food and snacks are available at your fingertips. You don't want to be responsible for not only stealing somebody's snacks but their happiness, do you?