Once the new school year approaches, students have many things on their minds. Thoughts range from classes to clubs and from work to your favorite TV shows starting up again. Something that should be a breeze is finding a roommate for the year. Considering everyone has had both amazing roommates and horrific ones, this is either something to look forward to or absolutely dread. We’ve put together a few ways for everyone to win and become a better roommate.
Be mindful of the other person’s space.
Especially in a dorm room, space is tight, and there isn’t as much room as at home. Keeping things to yourself and on your side of the room helps with keeping things organized and maximizes the use of the shared space.
Try to establish a friendship with your roommate.
This may sound like a corny suggestion, but starting that friendship and having that comfort and connection with someone can really help your living situation. You develop a new kind of respect for someone when you’re friends with them, and it also helps when solving any issues that arise because you are comfortable talking to them.
Clean up your stuff and contribute.
This is a big one, mainly if you live in an apartment or rent a house with a few other people. Your mom isn’t at college with you, so it’s super rude to assume that your roommate(s) will clean up after you and do all of the work around the house/apartment. Try creating a schedule for everyone and placing it in a common area, so it is easily seen when someone is supposed to do the dishes/vacuum/sweep. This helps keep everyone accountable for their actions and realize that they need to do their own part in helping everyone live happier in college. It’s stressful enough being there, do what you can to help make it easier for yourself and those around you.
Don’t eat your roommate’s food.
Just don’t do it. We know that the temptation can be there when you see something that you know your roommate hasn’t touched in 2 days, but just don’t do it. There are too many unnecessary fights regarding this silly topic and too much hostility that can build up. Try establishing early on with your roommate if you are okay sharing food or just want to be asked first. It’s really that simple. If you need help stocking your own mini-fridge, check out these simple ways to eat healthy in a college setting.
Respect your roommate.
This is such an essential topic, but it gets overlooked all the time. If your roommate has a big test in the morning and needs to get some sleep, don’t have people over listening to music and laughing until the wee hours of the morning. That’s just rude. Come up with those boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say something. Your roommate(s) are probably nicer than you think.
Pay your portion of the bills.
This should be a no-brainer, but sadly it should be on the list. Remember when we said that your mom isn’t at college with you? This definitely falls under that. Do your part. It isn’t fair to stick one of your roommates with paying that $200 out-of-pocket electric bill because you “don’t want to pay it.” Hard news: no one wants to pay it, but if you’re going to keep the food in your fridge cold and your phone charged, it has to be done. You can use apps like Splitwise and Splitr to ensure that each roommate will pay their fair share of the bills. You can also try keeping a log of your finances and budget for each month. Do what you can to pay them your portion of the bills and do it on time. They likely don’t have the money to pay for all of it by themselves.
We hope these tips give you some insight into what makes you the best roommate possible. It’s really relatively painless, and you should take note that you just need to be kind, respectful, understanding, and of course, be sure that you and your roommates have the proper renters insurance! Renters insurance is a staple when living with others and is very important. Learn more about the renters insurance offered by GradGuard by visiting our website today.
Updated in March or 2022