Ah, college. The four (or five…or six) best years of your life. You’re young, naive, and just itching to get out there in the world, right? Well, don’t be an asshole roommate while you’re out there.
In my quest of college years not so many moons ago, I experienced both the good, and the temper tantrum-throwing psycho bad of roommate situations and gained some knowledge along the way. This is nothing like the blows you would throw with siblings, it is the real deal living with a stranger you can’t put in a headlock no matter how mad you are. So whether you’re moving onto a college campus, or sharing apartment living space with someone, there are rules to not being an asshole roommate.
1. Thou shall not touch stuff that isn’t yours.
Oh, you wanted to use my pan to cook something that I am allergic to, or steal my snacks and hide them in the lining of your trash pail? How about you don’t. Meddling in your roommate’s possessions without permission is the fastest way to turn an amicable relationship sour.
2. Don’t try to be a forced bestie.
Living together means you’re spending a lot of time sharing the same air, but that doesn’t mean that every breath has to be something that involves your roomie. Initially, you’ll be away from your family and friends and in a new setting, but despite what the college may say, they don’t always do the greatest job with matching personalities while choosing roommates. Sometimes you may actually become life long friends, but most of the time you’ll be walking stone faced past one another by third semester.
3. Don’t be a dorm hermit.
“My roommate NEVER leaves the room” is a line you better hope to never use or hear. People living together, from siblings to husband and wife, sometimes need a little room to just do all the strange things they desire or just lay in bed with no pants on. That’s impossible if the only time you leave the dorm is for class. Join a club at the student center, make some friends, do your homework in the Library and not in your bed – just get out of the room.
4. Stealing clothes is punishable by brute force.
I know we mentioned touching things that aren’t yours, but how about you never, ever even consider putting hands on any fabric that belongs to your roommate? Think she won’t find out because she is home for the weekend? Well, tagged Facebook pics never lie.
5. Learn to tune out phone conversations.
Hear your roommate talking about some super spy shit over the phone? Mind your business. While you’ll involuntarily overhear a lot of things, it is your duty to act like none of it was ever said. It is unfair ammo to use in any other situation.
6. Thou shall not have sex with strange people while your roomie is in the room…unless you’re into that kind of stuff.
Put a sock on the door. Have a route of escape and stellar communication when it comes to what to do when it is time to utilize that escape. Everything and everyone is hypersexual in college, so sex will happen; have a plan to respect your roommate when it does.
7. Don’t steal shit.
And don’t bring over friends who steal shit. No explanation needed.
8. Your visitors need not live with you.
The room is just as much your room as it is your roomies’. Having friends and visitors over during the day is fine, but keep them on your side of things. Respect your roomie’s quiet time and be mindful about accommodating another person with free living space when you already have to share a cell with a stranger.
9. Do NOT get crazy before 9 a.m.
Don’t blow dry your hair, don’t sing along to music, don’t play music, don’t brew coffee in the room, don’t talk on the phone, don’t even chew gum too loud. LET. PEOPLE. SLEEP. Because a person without sleep is a dangerous person.
10. Don’t be a dirtbag.
Yeah, your mom is not here to pick up after you, but that doesn’t mean you get to live in every corner of the room with dirty laundry strewn about. You want to be messy, fine, just keep that on your side of the room and be sure that nothing smelly is emitting from your laundry loads and you’re not causing rodents.
Print these rules. Hang them on the fridge. Live by them.