November 18th, 2010 Jamie
Getting along with a roommate is a far cry from living with a sib–they don’t have to love you, you don’t have the comfort level to call them out, and you can’t turn to Mom and Dad for mediation purposes. That’s why I wanted to share an article I recently came across called 50 Clever Lifehacks for College Roommates, and give you a taste of my favorites from their “lifehacks” list (with some annotation from yours truly).
1. Be Courteous During Illnesses. This goes both ways, people. If your roomie is sick, let them get some rest and help them out if you can. If you’re sick, try to keep your room as germ-free as possible (wash your hands, keep surfaces clean) so your roommate doesn’t catch your bug. For more tips, check out my past articles My Roommate is Sick, Now What? and What to Do if You’re Sick in College.
2. Communicate!!! Let’s face it–communicating (especially when you’re resolving serious differences) isn’t always easy. That’s why its so important to set roommate ground rules early to help you (hopefully) avoid trouble down the road, and learn how to handle roommate problems if things get a little sticky. Whatever you do, don’t just wait it out and hope things will get better! Start practicing open, honest, and kind communication skills ASAP.
3. Write Everything Down. Really. Keeping a record of house rules, a calendar with utility and rent due dates, and other important info on paper will help everyone be mindful of your house rules (and make it easier to avoid the drama of someone forgetting rent or having a party in your place during finals week).
4. Avoid Smack Talk. You don’t have to be friends with your roommates–in fact, you don’t even really have to like them a lot–but you do have to respect them if you want to get along. Having personally had a roommate who didn’t always follow this rule, I know how hurtful it can be–and how much of a strain it can put on the relationship. Your roommate will be much more likely to listen to your concerns and help you out when you’re in need if you’ve been respectful–both to his or her face and behind his or her back.
5. Invest in Earplugs. They’re cheap, effective, and can save your roommate-hood if you have a roomie who stays up late, gets up early, or otherwise tends to disrupt your sleep hours. (Be sure you can still hear your alarm clock, though!). If your roommate is more than the usual shower-and-change-clothes kind of noisy during your sleeptime, though, see item 2–communicate!
Entry Filed under: roommates