11 Mar College Girls Guide: 8 Ways to be a Great Roommate
8 Ways to be a Great Roommate
You may have grown up living with siblings, or this may be your first time sharing your living space with someone else. Having a roommate inevitably has its challenges, it’s also a great part of your college experience. Follow these 8 tips to make sure you and your roommate keep things as stress-free as possible.
Honor each others’ space.
Every Saturday morning, my room is a Tazmanian-devil grade mess of last night’s rejected outfits. It’s easy to lose track of your stuff when you’re sharing a small space with one or more people. Keeping your belongings neat and organized not only makes your life easier, but also sets a more relaxed tone for you and your roommates to enjoy. Plus it shows respect for their space!
Be prepared to make compromises.
Maybe you’re a night-owl while your roommate likes to be an early bird. Maybe you just want to bump the new Drake album, but your roommate is a strictly Sufjan girl. Either way, being a great roommate means you’re up for a little give and take.
Find common ground.
Great roommates are friends first. However, this may not always be the case if you’re paired randomly. Maybe you found each other through mutual acquaintances. Figuring out what you both have in common makes arriving at compromises easier. More importantly though, it makes for better conversations! Whether it’s a favorite food to order after a hectic Monday, or a vacation spot you both visited as kids, it’s great to find shared interests with the person you come home to most nights!
Keep open communication.
People are often afraid to express little things that bother them for fear of seeming critical. When it comes to your roommate relationship, it’s important to vocalize your pet peeves before they become a bigger problem. Don’t be afraid to sit down together and talk about any issues you may be having with a situation—chances are she’ll be happy for your honesty!
Improve your room in ways you can both enjoy.
Of course it’s important to take care of the essentials (picking up clutter, sweeping, et cetera), but there are always ways you can make your space better for all parties living there. Door decorations and holiday-themed window stickers are great ideas! If you share a bathroom, splurge on some fun hand soaps like one of Anatomical’s sassy bottles.
Always ask before borrowing!
I consider my roommate the sister I always dreamed of having. She has great taste in boots, which I’m always tempted to swipe on my way out the door. Borrowing clothes, headphones, or anything else is a great way to get closer with your roommate—it shows you have each other’s backs! Make sure to always ask though, otherwise she could feel used and disrespected. Let your roommate know you love her taste and would like to try out something of hers before you take the liberty of doing so.
Show that you care.
Living together means you’ll see sides of each other that you may not exhibit to the outside world. If your roommate seems like she’s having an off day, show your concern. It’s important to check in with each other to see how you’re doing. Show that you support your roommate by bringing home her favorite snack or by asking about her day. And never forget to say “thank you” for all the ways she supports you!
Enjoy time together outside the room.
Sometimes the best way to build a great relationship with your roommate is to spend less time in the room. Invite her for an afternoon out. You’ll get to know her better and build a stronger friendship. Bring a Polaroid or disposable camera; maybe you’ll snap some cute pictures to post on your walls!