Whether or not you and your roommate are best friends and attached at the hip, or just tolerate each other with mild amusement, there’s always room for improvement in one of your most important college relationships. Read on for some tips on how to keep the good vibes up.
Keep reading to find out 10 dos and don’ts for dorm roommate living.
1. DO – Motivate Your Roomie
Remember when your roommate has a big test or presentation coming up, and give her a shout-out of encouragement that morning. A few happy words can go a long way when you’re so busy you’re drinking coffee like water and can’t remember what a bed feels like.
2. DON’T – Forget to lock the door
When you leave your room for the night, take the extra three seconds to lock your door. If you forget and your roommate comes back the next morning to find his laptop stolen, things might get ugly. You have a key for a reason – use it!
3. DO – Keep the light on
If you go to bed before your roommate gets back from a big night of partying, make sure you keep his desk lamp on. Alcohol plus complete darkness is never a good combo and your roommate will appreciate the sprained ankle you saved him from.
4. DON’T – Encourage the snooze addiction
Have a general idea of your roommate’s schedule, so when you get back to your room and realize she didn’t wake up for her alarm, you know to drag her out of bed so she can get her butt to class. She may momentarily hate you for disturbing her sleep, but she’ll thank you when she doesn’t miss the quiz she almost slept through.
5. DO – Find absurd reasons to celebrate
It’s National Sandwich Day? Time to party. It’s National Dessert Day? Even better! Almost every day of every month has some crazy holiday attached to it, so take a break from all that studying to celebrate your favorites with your roommate.
6. DON’T – Work out alone
If you’re hitting the gym or going for a run, don’t forget to ask your roommate if he wants to tag along. It’s at least a little bit easier to muster up the motivation to stop watching TV and go work out if you have someone joining you.
7. DO – Hook ‘em up
So you’re in class with the hottie your roommate is secretly in love with? What a crazy coincidence. Play a little match making and you’re guaranteed some roommate appreciation.
8. DON’T – Disturb
If you’re awake before your roommate and getting ready for class while she’s sleep, take extra care to keep the noise level to a minimum. There’s nothing scarier than living with a grumpy, sleep-deprived college student.
9. DO – Practice what you preach
If you’re harping on your roommate to keep his side of the room clean, make sure that you’re not the one with empty diner containers strewn on your desk and clothes piled mountain-high on your bed.
10. DON’T – Forget to ask permission
For the sake of all things roommate related, do not borrow things of your roommate without asking her, unless she tells you otherwise. When she asks you where her favorite shirt is that she wants to wear to the bar that night and you have to tell her it’s crumpled in the bottom of your laundry basket, things will get awkward pretty quickly if you didn’t ask to borrow it first.
Beware the roommate stories: these happened and we can’t forget it.
Christina Yu > University of Notre Dame > First Year MFA
The semester of the annoying roommate is a rite of passage in american college life. almost everyone has a story to tell. the fact is that everyone thinks he or she is the normal one—which can only mean we’re all weirder than we think we are. here are some of the best horror stories.
1. The soiler
“When drunk, one of my roommates opened a drawer of mine and peed inside. When asked what he was doing, this guy said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be done in a sec.’” – Matt, Indiana University
2. The penny pusher
“This girl I roomed with was obsessed with making everything equal. She liked to split the cost of small purchases right down the middle, air fresheners and toilet paper… Money became such a huge burden I eventually moved out.” – Anjana, Dartmouth College
3. The filmmaker
“I had a roommate one year who occasionally videotaped me while I slept. one night he put a cookie in my mouth. I later found out he was posting the videos to a webpage. About a month later, I was recognized at a party as ‘the guy with the cookie in his mouth.’” – Matt, University of Maryland
4. The snitch
“I had these two roommates who saved every email I ever sent them. The freaky part, though, was that they tape-recorded me! later I found out they had the password to my email account. Granted we didn’t have the best relationship and not everything I did was kosher, but it was still creepy to be under surveillance. Besides, what they did was somewhat illegal. They were trying to get me in trouble with the dean but ended up screwing themselves over.” – Victoria, University of Notre Dame
5. The try hard
“I had a college roommate who really wanted to be best friends. During the second semester of our cohabitation, after we failed to bond, she gave me her 456-page diary and told me to read it, then quizzed me. I was embarrassed for her, so I didn’t read much. I still don’t know what to think of that gesture.” – Holly, University of Pennsylvania
6. The goody-goody
“An ultra-religious roommate of mine wouldn’t let my long-distance boyfriend stay in my room or the common room during his visits. She had her own room! I guess she couldn’t stand the idea of sharing the bathroom with a male. I never asked her what she thought of co-ed swimming pools…” – Elizabeth, Marquette University
Want to get in your roommate’s good graces? Give ’em something sweet.
21 Gifts for Your Roommates—Whether You Like Them or Not
*Horror stories article by Yu originally published in College Magazine’s print publication, Fall 2007 issue.
*Updated July 20, 2018 with six roommate horror stories.