Sharing your space with someone else can be tough. You tend to get on each other’s nerves occasionally but it’s not impossible to get along with each other.
- Respect each other’s privacy.
This one should be a given. It’s one of the main components to being a good roommate. Don’t get into each other’s business unless either of you asks. However, if you suspect something bad is going to be the result, nicely ask to talk about it to make sure they’re okay.
- Keep your space clean.
Nothing is worse than when your dorm room is a mess–especially when you’re going to have guests. You don’t want people to think you’re a slob. So, it’s best if all roommates pick up their messes and switch off doing the basic chores such as dishes, trash, vacuuming, etc.
- Find common interests.
Hopefully you won’t be in the situation of having nothing in common with your roommate(s). If that were the case, maybe you wouldn’t be living together. However, if there is nothing, try to find something to bond over. Maybe it’s a TV series, a movie, a book series, a type of music, or maybe even a holiday. If you’re both in Greek life, share the same major, a club or sport, that is a big thing to talk about and bond over. Find that one thing and use it to bond with your roommates.
- Find time to get to know each other.
Find a time for you and your roommates to spend time together–even if it’s only one night a week. Maybe have a family dinner where one night a week, one of you cooks a meal for the other roommates and eat ‘family style,’ at a table or in the living room.
- Set ground rules.
If there’s no way you and your roommates can get along, set ground rules for each other. This will make it easier to respect each other’s boundaries and try not to make them mad or upset. Especially if it’s over something controversial like politics.
- Ask if it’s okay. (okay to what?)
Living with roommates can be difficult when you’re sharing a space. Since you are sharing, ask the others if it’s okay if you invite a couple friends over. It may be a bit of a bummer to ask for permission since you’re living on your own, but you never want to make someone uncomfortable or vice versa.
- Respect schedules.
If you have a class at 8 a.m. but your roommate has one at 12 p.m., keep that in mind when making yourself breakfast in the morning also, make sure neither of you are making noise late at night to get a good night’s sleep. That prevents an argument from happening down the line.
- Do not gossip about each other.
This is a big one. If by chance you don’t like one of your roommates, don’t talk bad about them. If you need to, don’t do it in your dorm. Also, don’t talk about one roommate with the other two. There’s a chance the word could get back to them, and then a fight could breakout.
- Coordinate space use.
It’s nice when you have your own bedroom so you can escape if needed, but if you want to use the living room to watch Netflix or do your homework, let your roommates know so they know and won’t interrupt you. If they want to use the living room as well, compromise so both of you are happy.
- Have fun together.
One of the most important factors in having a roommate, is being able to have fun with them. You don’t want to have a roommate who doesn’t want to hang out with you. It helps with the bonding process as well. Have fun with each other, even if it’s just going grocery shopping together or going out to eat. Something fun that will bring you all together.
Living away from home and meeting new people can be a scary thing. So, relying on your roommates is really important. Whether you need someone to talk to or someone to study with. If you follow these steps, you and your roommates should get along great and you will have your home away from home.