College life can be an exciting and life-changing experience, and sharing a hostel or university hall with a roommate can be a great way to meet new people and save on living expenses.
The transition from living alone or with family to sharing a space with someone else can be challenging for some people and can also lead to conflicts, tension, and stress. To avoid these common roommate problems, here are some tips on how to be an actually good college roommate.
Communicate openly and regularly
The key to any good relationship is including a roommate in effective communication. Be open about your needs, habits, and schedule, and make an effort to listen to your roommate’s as well. Establish regular check-ins to discuss any issues or concerns, and be willing to make compromises when necessary.
Respect each other’s space and privacy
Roommates don’t need to be best friends, but they do need to respect each other’s personal space and privacy. Keep common areas tidy, and avoid intruding on each other’s privacy by knocking before entering the other person’s room.
Even if you and your roommate don’t become best friends, you should still be friendly toward each other at all times! Your interactions and room environment will be positively affected as a result. When in doubt, follow the Golden Rule and treat them like you would want to be treated.
Sharing responsibilities around your shared space is an important part of having a roommate. This could mean creating a chore chart to decide who is taking out the trash, cleaning the toilets or vacuuming each week, but chore charts aren’t for everyone. What’s most important is ensuring that you and your roommate are both pulling the weight to keep your space clean and organized.
If your roommate has friends over, try to be friendly and welcoming. Making an effort to get to know your roommate’s friends can help to build a stronger relationship with your roommate and create a more enjoyable living environment. Convos about “How campus life is?”, “Expenses at university” can create a bond between you and your roommate friends.
Everyone has their own set of personal boundaries. Discuss whether you are comfortable sharing things like food, appliances, etc. Try to keep your belongings in your area and don’t touch their belongings unless you have permission!
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Develop some showering etiquette
Showering in a shared space like a hostel or university hall is an oddly fraught affair: if you all leave the hostel in the morning you do have to stick quite rigidly to your pre-approved time slot, or chaos ensues. And try not to have a long giggling 45-minute shower, because it locks up the only toilet in the hostel and Kakuru got so desperate he went and angrily did a piss in the garden.
Be considerate of noise levels
College is a time for late-night studying, partying, and generally staying up late, but it’s also important to be considerate of your roommate’s need for sleep. Keep noise levels to a minimum such as music or friendly chats, especially during quiet hours, and try to avoid disturbing your roommate when they’re sleeping.
Don’t steal food – or at least be nice about it
Fries, Rice, butter, milk: the triangle of most stolen items. I think “thou shalt not steal” is a bit much, but a good rule with milk is always this: Take enough for a weak cup of tea, but always leave enough for them to have a bowl of cereal with.
In conclusion, being a good college roommate requires effort and compromise, but the rewards are well worth it. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating a positive and harmonious living situation that will last well beyond your college years.