College offers the experience of living with others, which can be awesome for some and hectic for others. Whether the person is a friend or a stranger, it can present many challenges. Is it true that one does not know someone until they have lived with them? Sharing a limited amount of space can create tension or cause stress. Here are some tips on roommate etiquette to make the experience more pleasant.
Share the space: The room is your home away from home. Therefore, the roommates should decide together how to arrange the room. This way each roommate feels like it is everyone’s room, and not just one person’s ideal room. Also, one should make sure their side of the room is clean, and they should alternate taking out the trash and vacuuming.
Respect the room: Make sure the roommate knows when friends are visiting, whether they live on-campus or otherwise. Roommates should notify each other of any changes they make to the room. The roommates’ attitude affects the vibe of the room, so roommates should check-in with each other.
Respect bedtime and study time: Roommates should discuss sleeping habits and class schedules so everyone can be mindful of noise at night and alarms in the morning. Depending on the roommate’s involvement on campus and class schedule, they might go to bed early or be up late doing homework. Some people need quiet while others like noise to fall asleep or to study. See which each roommate prefers.
Always ask for permission: What one roommate may allow, the other may not. For example, one roommate might be okay with sharing food. Roommates should spend time discussing what they approve of and what is off limits. Do not go against the roommate’s wishes.
Be considerate of each other’s feelings: Communication is highly important when living with someone. If roommates do not talk about issues that arise, the problem can escalate and the living situation can become chaotic. Always remember that the roommate may be going through something that no one knows about. Try to be there for each other.
Make an effort to understand each other: Even though all roommates are not close friends, they should still try to find a common ground by being respectful and civil. If roommates can find one aspect that they share, the roommates may bridge a gap that is between them.
Do not take things personally: Warn the roommate in advance of the status of the day. A roommate might have a horrible day and has an attitude toward their roommate. But in all reality, the person’s day was terrible and the attitude is a reflection of those feelings. So, roommates should be mindful when the person is having a horrible day.
Making the Experience Exciting: Roommates should find something that they have in common. If both of the roommates like the show Once Upon A Time, for example, they should make popcorn and watch it together. Come up with creative ways to decorate the room with different themes. Roommates can learn how to work together in a limited space and have fun at the same time. Try doing fun things together. Take a walk to Wayne, or drive to Philadelphia together. This allows roommates to have fun in different environments and actually spend time being friends, too.