Roommate Life Dos and Don'ts!

I find that when talking with friends and other high school students who are new to the college scene, one of their biggest concerns is dorm life and roommate life. Living with someone in a space that really is big enough for one person only is not as scary as it sounds. You will get friendly with your roommate, personal space tends to disappear, but great relationships can be built.

Hopefully my roommate story and the guidelines I chose to follow will help in easing your concerns.

My roommate, Lauren, and I were friends before, in high school. We were lucky to have each other and avoided the dreaded and unpredictable "potluck" roommate process. I was a Freshman here at IU and she was wrapping up her Senior year when we decided to room together. We were so excited to have each other and couldn't wait for the good times to start. We planned all summer for our ideal room that is equipped with a futon, a nice TV, and  excessive amounts of decorations that we both love.

The day finally came for us to move into our dorm and we settled in just fine. We have been having fun all year long, but the road hasn't been easy. We work on our successful "roommateship" every day. We spend quality time together every now and again, respect one another, and take time to listen to each other.

Although Lauren and I had the advantage of knowing each other before moving in, we still follow simple dos and don'ts that "potluck" roommates can follow as well, that help us get along.

When living with your roommate, DO...

  1. Have fun together (Watch a movie or go out for ice cream. Everyone deserves a study break!)
  2. Respect each other (If your roommate has an early class, respect that and keep the room quiet so he/she can get some rest.)
  3. Listen to each other (You're both in the same boat; going to class, doing homework, and not sleeping. A little support goes a long way!)
  4. Set boundaries at the beginning of the semester (You don't want your roommate's boyfriend/girlfriend over all the time? Just say something at the beginning on the semester so that they know what's up. It's your room as much as it is theirs and you deserve the environment you want. Boundaries should be set from everything to designated study time to borrowing someone's things.)

However, when living with your roommate, DON'T...

  1. Slack on chores (Nobody wants to clean your dirty dishes. Take care of business on your own!)
  2. Let problems escalate until its too much to fix (Your roommate is playing loud music? Tell them while it's a little problem and don't let it grow out of control. It's all about communication!)
  3. Be rude (The Golden Roommate Rule: treat your roommate the way you would want to be treated)

Great friendships can come from simple "roommateships." I know I sure did  gain a best friend out of my roommate!

(Lauren and I on Halloween! I was a flapper and she was Wendy from Peter Pan!) 

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