So you’ve got the kick-ass kitchen appliances and the to-die-for decor, but without the enviable roomie relationship to go along with these things, you won’t really be the talk of your dorm floor. Having a roommate for the first time can be as nerve-wracking as it is exciting. Luckily, what to do to be a successful roommate is actually pretty straightforward — be accountable, be clean, be nice. (You can refer to these five peacekeeping tips if you’re still unsure.) But sometimes, what not to do is a little less clear. Between the hundreds of geology terms and the Spanish monologue you’re trying to memorize, you’ll be relieved to know there are only three don’ts of being a roomie to remember.
1. Don’t be a moocher. This seems like a common-sense practice, and since the advent of Venmo, it’s actually fairly hard to pull off. But when it comes to roommate relationships, mooching applies to more than just money. From toilet paper to purses to that bag of pretzels, if it’s not yours, you should not be using it, wearing it, or eating it unless you have explicit permission. A good rule of thumb to follow is this: If you found out your roommate was helping herself to this item of yours, would it bother you? Hey, money can be tight in college, so be mindful not to waste theirs.
2. Don’t be a roommatespreader. You’ve heard of manspreading, but we’re making roommatespreading a thing too. The gist of rule number two? Don’t take up too much space. Well, you might be thinking “duh,” but space takes on multiple meanings here. Don’t take up too much space with your belongings. Don’t take up too much space with your personal guests (S.O., family members, high school friends). And don’t take up too much space with your noise, whether that be your voice, your music, or the vacuum cleaner. Respecting personal space is huge, and it can be hard to do when you live in a tiny dorm room. You can be an intrusive roomie in more ways than merely throwing your backpack on their bed, so be cognizant of all the ways you might be encroaching on your ‘mate’s space.
3. Don’t be a ghost. One of the best parts of college is not having to answer to anyone, but this freedom doesn’t alleviate you of all accountability. Let your roommate know where you are and who you’re with if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time or overnight. Not everyone is going to be best friends with their roommate (if this is news to you, you should probably watch less New Girl), and that’s okay, but chances are, they probably still care enough about your well-being to worry. Don’t put them through that if it’s not necessary. That’s what your parents are for.
What’s your number one roomie don’t? Let us know @BritandCo!
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