College Roommates

One of the scariest things about moving away for college is the inevitable roommate. We’ve all heard the horror stories, favorited the tweets, and reposted the memes.

If you’re lucky, your college roommate might become one of your best friends. If you’re not so lucky, it may feel like your roommate’s ruining your college experience and your life.

As somebody who’s experienced both sides of it, I’ve got a few tips.


  1. Communication really is key.

For everything. Start all the important conversations early. Get to know who they are before move-in day, discuss boundaries before they’re crossed, and talk about the things that are bothering you before they blow up.

  1. Respect their things.

This one might seem obvious, but it’s important. Don’t borrow their things without their permission and don’t eat their food without asking. Even if it doesn’t bother you, it may bother them and you could be causing trust issues or tension that’s hard to go back from.

  1. Be courteous about who you bring over.

And about how often. While it is your room, too, your roommate may feel uncomfortable or annoyed by a constant flow of people they don’t know in their space. Communicate with them and try to find a spot to meet in the middle.

  1. Learn to take the high road.

I’ve found this one especially important after moving in with my best friend. Figure out if whatever’s got you angry is worth the fight before it starts. Petty nitpicking and arguments build up resentment and you risk a relationship that may be important to you. Take one for the team and move on.

  1. Be aware of your living habits.

You may have little living quirks other people find weird or annoying, like leaving globs of toothpaste in the sink or wads of hair on the shower wall. Realize that while they may not be perfect, neither are you. Try your best to compromise without feeling the need for either of you to change who you are.

  1. Clean up.

Whether you plan a day once a week to do some cleaning or you five-minute tidy every night before bed, having a clean home is going to positively affect the atmosphere. There’s no reason for dirty dishes to pile up or for dust bunnies to grow into something that may actually be living. Take care of it.

  1. Be open to new things.

That’s why we’re at college in the first place, right? You may get a roommate who does things differently or likes different things than you and that’s okay. Use it as a chance to allow yourself to grow and to share your hobbies and interests with them.

  1. Don’t take life too seriously.

Your roommate won’t make or break your college experience if you don’t let it.

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