back to school 2015 :: roommate + suitemate do's and don'ts

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I was lucky (and thankful) to have been in a dorm without a community bathroom, but that meant my roommate and I had to share a bathroom with two other girls. And whoever they brought over. Which included half of campus, apparently. But just because I had a bad experience, it doesn't mean you will! And, with these handy tips, you can avoid becoming a bad experience. :-)

DO: Share!   • Haven't you ever heard the phrase 'sharing is caring'? I find it's easier to get along with someone if you're being kind and sharing things. You already have a shared space, so try to make the best of it.
DON'T: Take without permission.   • This shouldn't have to be mentioned, but here it is. Freshman year, my suitemates would take everything from toilet paper to hand soap to hair products. By the end of the year my roommate and I were keeping everything in our room and only taking it in the bathroom when we needed it.

DO: Be mindful.   • You're living in a fairly small room with another person. If you know that microwavable tv dinner will make the whole room stink, save it for when they're in class. If you want to watch your favorite movie, put headphones in. Don't leave your dirty laundry on the floor. If you borrow something (with permission!), replace it.
DON'T: Expect rainbows and gum drops 24/7.   • You're a human with emotions. They're a human with emotions. Shocking, I know. What that means is simple: You're going to have days where you're angry and even the way they walk in the room makes you want to scream. They're going to have days where all they want to do is lay in bed and listen to sad music and it's going to upset them when you seem to be in the room all. day. So how do you remedy that?

DO: Talk.   • Listen to how they're feeling. If they say "Hey, I wish you'd pick up your shoes from the middle of the floor," don't get defensive. Think about how you feel when they do X and how you'd like them to stop. That's how they feel when you do Y.
DON'T: Be passive aggressive.   • Stop leaving notes on the bathroom mirror. Stop "accidentally" forgetting to turn off the light when you leave. Stop rolling your eyes whenever they talk to you. Because there's nothing worse than a passive aggressive roommate. If you have a problem, say something!

DO: Try to get involved in things they like.   • This does not mean show up everywhere they are. But if they like Starbuck's, offer to go with them sometime. If they like movies, see if your school offers free showings.
DON'T: Get too upset if you don't click.   • Especially if they were randomly assigned to your room. Some people are great friends, but horrible roommates. Some people are good roommates, but they're not exactly friends. Remember that your campus probably has a lot of people, so don't get too down if one person didn't work out. If you really are having problems, talk to an RA about switching rooms.

   • Your mom isn't here to clean up for you. Stop leaving spoiled milk in the fridge. Stop leaving dirty dishes on the counter because "you'll get to them later." If your laundry starts to stink up the room, just wash it. If your shoes are muddy, wipe them off before walking inside. Just be considerate.
DON'T: Take everything personally.   • If they ask you to pick up after yourself, it's probably not an attack. It's just a question. You may think you're the only one to ever take out the trash, but they think they're the only one to ever do the dishes. So when they get upset over the dishes, remember that yes you do things too, but maybe there's other things you can help with as well.

1 comment:

  1. What a great list. Roommates can be hard. I definitely think you covered all the important issues. :)