Living with another person for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to the concept. Here are 10 tools of the trade from someone who’s maintained the same roommate all four years.
1. Do clean up after yourself.
No one likes a total slob. Leaving dirty dishes to crust and mold isn’t only disgusting; it’s a health hazard.
2. Don’t assume the entire room is yours.
Respecting the other person’s space is crucial to living with someone else.
3. Do share responsibilities.
If you’ve never taken out the trash, vacuumed the floors, dusted or cleaned the bathroom, it’s time for you to get up and do something productive.
4. Don’t lose track of your stuff.
Nothing kills good vibes like accusing your roommate of stealing a sweater or food, only to discover you actually misplaced the item.
5. Do voice concerns to an RA or dorm supervisor.
Be direct and concise with your RA or building supervisor. They can often address problems in ways that you can’t.
6. Don’t expect your roommate to go above and beyond.
There’s a give and take with all relationships, and roommates are no different. If you don’t plan on putting effort into a relationship, don’t be surprised when your roommate neglects to do the same.
7. Do realize that your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend for it to work.
You’re not married to your roommate. You’re simply sharing a living space. Fretting over them not understanding a “Mean Girls” reference isn’t worth the hassle.
8. Don’t leave passive-aggressive notes everywhere.
Leaving “subtle hints” for your roommate to take out the trash won’t work, and neither will ranting on Twitter about how messy their side of the room is. Be an adult and talk to them directly.
9. Do try to understand how the other functions.
Roomie relationships are like dating, and for some, you actually see your roommate more frequently than your significant other. Get to know their likes and dislikes. You never know what you’ll have in common until you actually talk to them.
10. Don’t freak out.
Panicking never helps any situation, and hyperventilating over not having the perfect roommate won’t solve those problems.