How to Deal with College Roommates

College Roommates at ONU. Photo: KColwell on Flickr.

Roommates. They’re an integral part of the college experience, though you’ve probably had one or two get under your skin before. Living with people can make all their flaws all-too-visible, so here are some tips on how to deal with college roommates.

  1. Establish ground rules. Come up with rules at the beginning of the semester for how you’ll deal with smoking, taking phone calls during study time, studying late at night, bringing home significant others, etc.
  2. Don’t touch their stuff. As tempting as their tasty looking food might be, leave it alone. Don’t use their shampoo, makeup, clothes. Your relationship will be better for it.
  3. Be friendly, but don’t force friendship. Stay courteous, but don’t expect you’ll be BFFs for the rest of your lives. Some of the best roommates are the ones you barely ever see.
  4. Yes, it's okay to want a clean apartment. Just address it directly instead of through notes like this. Photo: Passive Aggressive Notes

    Cleaning rules. Set up a cleaning schedule for your living space and make sure you pull your own weight. If your roommate left something in the sink that’s smelling up the apartment, the easiest solution may be to tidy it up then and address it with them later.

  5. Have one room to keep clean — always. While the rest of your apartment may be a mess, it helps to have one community room you know you can retreat to that will always be clean, like the kitchen or living room. Commit to keeping it tidy.
  6. Work out a bathroom schedule. At the beginning of the semester, talk through your schedule to figure out when people need to be out the door every morning and then base a bathroom schedule around that timeline.
  7. Bring it up. If you let the stuff that bothers you simmer under the surface without addressing it directly with them, it will just get worse for you and they may have no idea what they’re doing is getting under your skin. While leaving a note may be more comfortable for you, just deal with it up front, instead of declaring a post-it war.
  8. Pick your battles. It may drive you nuts when they leave their hair in bathtub after showering, but there may be more important things to deal with.
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About Sarah Ward

Sarah is a social media manager and image consultant originally from Vancouver, Canada. After executing her first makeover in the seventh grade, she has been helping people look and feel their best ever since. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, shopping on Etsy, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

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