If you think the most difficult part about college will be pulling all-nighters and waking up early for class, then think again. The truth is that your living situation can have a colossal affect on your college experience. Here are some tips to help make your living situation the best it can be.
10. What happens at home, stays at home
While living in close proximity, you’ll see all of the embarrassing, awkward and annoying things your roommate does. Don’t be that person who shares these private details out in public. Simply said, it’s rude.
9. Be considerate
Be mindful of what you’re doing while your roommate is in the room. I once had a roommate who decided to Skype without headphones while I was studying for a test—talk about inconsiderate.
8. Give your roommate adequate space
This means that your roommate should have his/her own area of the room. Just because you share the room does not mean you’re entitled to all of its parts. Think of the room as split down the middle, and don’t overstep your boundaries. Also make sure that you’re not smothering your roommate by spending every waking moment in the room.
7. Be kind to your roommate’s friends
You may not like your roommate’s friends, but if you keep your cool, and play nice, they’ll be less likely to get on your nerves. If your roommate and his/her BFF just want to chill in the room, realize your roommate is also paying for the space.
6. Do things together
It isn’t necessary to become best friends with your roommate, but since you’re living together, it’s smart to get to know him/her by making an effort to spend time together. That way you’ll feel more comfortable living with and communicating with this person. “I was really busy meeting up with friends from high school the first few weeks of college. I made no effort to spend time with my roommate, and a few months down the line things couldn’t have been more awkward,” said University of Chicago student Bryan Henderson.
5. Clean up behind yourself
The truth is, your mom won’t be there to clean up your mess. “I got sick once freshman year, and I left in a rush to head home. A pair of my underwear and shorts were in the middle of the floor, and I think my roommate was so annoyed that she just let them sit there all four days,” said Morgan Ross of Kansas State.
4. Don’t leave your roomie out of the loop
Before you try your hand at Feng Shui, make sure your roommate is cool with the new arrangement. “I wanted a large block of carpet measured for the room . . . and it wasn’t until one of my friends told me how stupid I was being that I realized I was a jerk to ask my roommate to pitch in for something only I wanted,” said Christine Kelly of Columbia College.
3. Respect your roommate’s stuff
Your roommate might be down for implementing the what’s-mine-is-yours policy, but you better check before you borrow anything. “I once took my roommate’s iron and ironing board and lent it to a friend. Whoops, big mistake,” said Curtis Tabor of Iowa Western Community College (IWCC).
2. Be real from the start
Be open with your roommate about everything from sleeping habits to having people over. “One of the biggest issues I encountered as a RA was complaints about a roommate’s partner,” said Dominique Holt also of IWCC. Your roommate may not assume that your partner will be staying the night, so make sure to clear this first.
1. Ask and listen
Unfortunately, your roommate won’t come with a manual that outlines just how to deal with him or her, but you’ll find out the hard way if you don’t ask questions.