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College Survival Guide: How to be a Great College Dorm Roommate

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Chances are this is your first time leaving away from home and on your own. Living with a roommate can be one of the best experiences in your college life if you take a few common sense steps into consideration. Many college roommate relationships end up being life long friendships. It can also be a bit intimidating living with a total stranger.

First and foremost is not to be sloppy. Be sure you pick up after yourself. When using the bathroom, simply put away the mess you might make by storing away your toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, make-up, and other personal hygiene items. You can not have too many storage totes when you are in college and sharing a room. Organizers of all shapes and sizes can really help to keep the clutter to a minimum as well as to keep your things neat and tidy. When using the kitchen to eat or to cook, make sure you clean up your mess and wash your dishes and get them put away.

Perhaps sit down with your roommate and discuss how the two of you can keep the room clean and organized. A weekly chore list sometimes works very well. This way each of you are aware what needs to be done during the week. Delegate one to take out the trash for one week and the other to do a major cleaning of the bathroom for that week. You can change jobs every week so one is not always having to do the same task week after week.

Be considerate when it comes to taking phone messages or when someone stops by your room to reach your roommate by taking a message and writing it down. Agree on a place where messages can be placed so you do not run into a problem of getting upset due to not receiving them. If you know your roommate is studying or perhaps is a little under the weather avoid having visitors over. Instead, go to the room where your friends live at. If you would like to have a get together at your room or some kind of function that involves several other college friends check with your roommate first and find out if the date is acceptable or not.

Perhaps schedule things around your roommates schedule at school or at work. It may sound like a lot to remember and a lot to do, however it really is not. It is just simple common sense and thinking of the way you would like to be treated. Consider getting a pair of earplugs to listen to your stereo when your roommate is busy studying for an exam.

If there is something you would like or need to borrow, always ask first. Make sure you get the item back to your roommate without it being damaged and above all else do not lose it. Never get into your roommates food that he or she has set aside. Do not expect your roommate to wake you up every morning. Get yourself a good alarm clock.

Do not be fake and always be honest. If you present a false face you and your roommate will not be able to truly get to know each other. Discuss problems when they occur instead of letting the situation brew. This only makes all the other little things that we normally do not make a big deal out off seem much larger.

Give your new relationship some time before making a decision that you want to change roommates. Try to discuss and work through any possible issues the two of you might have. Understand that it will not always be 100% perfect and be willing to give a little in some areas. If you simply can not live with your roommate go talk with your counselor about the best way to move.



Jul 12, 2010 11:16pm
When I was in college it was necessary to clean up and stay tidy in the rooms too. Never gave it much thought since I grew up with a mother who expected those too. You have a great article with good info for everyone everywhere.
Aug 12, 2010 9:52pm
This is great information that would be helpful to any new college freshman. Hope some of them see it!
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