Do’s and don’ts of roommate living

The thing I most dreaded when coming to school at Sam Houston State University was the whole roommate situation. Sharing a room with my little sister all my life could not come close to preparing me for living with complete strangers. After hearing about plenty of terrible situations in which having a roommate was the worst possible thing to ever happen to a person (and after watching that one movie where the roommate turned out to be a psychopath and wanted the exact life of the other girl), I will in all honesty admit to being more than hesitant about having roommates. That’s right, not just one roommate, but roommates, as in plural, more than one. However, over the past year and a half, I have learned what can make or break a relationship with your roommate.

DO: Be friendly and get to know one another. You have to live with each other for a year, it only makes sense to get to know that person. Trust me when I say that it will be awkward if you do not take the time to get on good terms with the person/people you live with. Take the time to learn about each other’s lives – where he or she grew up, whether or not they come from a big family and what some things that make them go insane are. Not to mention this is college, you are going to want to party. If your roommate throws a party, you want to be invited right? Or if they are going to a party, you would want to know about it so you could potentially make an appearance. Well, that means you have to put in the time to get on that level with that person. There are a lot of reasons why you should get to know your roommate, so just choose one and do it.

DON’T: Use each other’s stuff. It is one thing to borrow utensils and the likes, but do not expect that you are entitled to use your roommates belongings just because you live with one another. That may fly with you and your siblings, but only because you would get into major trouble with your parents if you killed your sibling. When you enter the real world, the one where your mom and dad are not there to hold your hand, it is a whole different ballpark. You are not allowed to everything just because you share a bathroom or kitchen. Learn to use your words children, ask to borrow. Life will become much easier if you do.

DO: Be a Good Samaritan. I do not mean be a kiss ass, but just be nice. If you are going to the store to pick up a few things you need for the upcoming week, ask your roommate if they need to go as well. Making coffee in the morning before class? Make an extra cup for your roommate, too. Maybe even write a note to them before you leave the house telling them to have a good day? People always say that it is the thought that counts, so be thoughtful. It does not have to be some extravagant gesture, but simply something small that shows you care about them one human being to another. Random acts of kindness go a long way.

DON’T: Be an ice queen and turn the air conditioning down all the way to 60. I live with three other girls, and believe me, it get a little touchy sometimes when it comes to the AC. I like it to be nice and cool when it is time for me to go to sleep, but I do not want it to be so cold that I freeze to death in the process. Take into consideration that it is not just you living in this area, so you have to be thoughtful of the other people as well. Talk it over with everyone and find a comfortable temperature that everyone will agree too. On those nights where it becomes warmer than normal, make sure that it is okay with everyone to turn the AC a little lower than normal rather than doing it behind roommates’ back. You will only end up in a bad situation because your roommate is grumpy since he/she had to wake up in the middle of the night to adjust the AC since it was too cold.

I could go on forever about the Do’s and Don’ts to having a roommate because let’s face it, there are some people out there that are jerks. There are a few people who actually genuine people, and if you are fortunate to room with them be grateful. It all comes down to this – respect one another and things will work out great. If you cannot bring yourself to respect the other, then you my friend, have my greatest sympathies because your life is going to be quite difficult.

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