6 Tips on How to be a Good College Roommate

Author: Boise Bible College
Published on: August 23, 2019

Soon, if not already, you might have roommates. However, being a good college roommate will make or break the experience. You might have roommates on campus or out of college, might live at home, or someday may live with your spouse. Regardless of the situation, living with another human being may be on the horizon. Learning how to be a good college roommate now will benefit everyone involved in the future.

“A good roommate may be the single most important thing to have when

one is away at school.”

Barbara Dana, A Voice of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson

Here are 6 tips in order to be a good college roommate:

Communicate and be Respectful

Communicating expectations and preferences from the beginning may help with potential headaches later. Nothing will build animosity quicker than unmet expectations. Your roommates do not know you, therefore, they cannot assume what you prefer or dislike. You must tell them. For example, tell your roommates when you like to shower or that you would like quiet time after a certain time. Whatever the case, be sure to be respectful of their wishes or compromise on a solution.

Clean up After Yourself

Cleaning up after yourself means that you are being considerate of your roommate(s) space. After all, you’re sharing a living space, so it’s not just yours anymore. In addition, you no longer live at home, so there’s no one to “remind” you to clean up or pick up after yourself. You will need to step up to the plate and clean up after yourself. You may be paired with someone who likes things tidy, so be aware of things like leaving dishes in the sink or towels on the bathroom floor.

Get to Know One Another

Everyone differs in one way or another. Everyone has passions, talents, or gifts that need to be showcased. Unfortunately, sometimes, we let annoyances or frustrations blind us to genuinely building relationships with our roommates. Becoming a good roommate means embracing and praising the differences, rather than resenting them.

“Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many . . . Certainly the body isn’t one part but many . . . But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? But as it is, there are many parts but one body. So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.””

1 Corinthians 12

Always Ask

If the thought, “I’m sure they won’t mind if I borrow/eat ______” pops into your mind, then stop right there. Even if they’ve said, “oh, I don’t mind” a million times, still ask. If you eat their leftovers assuming they won’t mind, then wonder why their tone of voice changed, it’s because you found the one thing they cared about.

In addition, this sentiment extends to overnight guests. Remember, this space is no longer your own and your roommate may have plans to host a movie night or might want a quiet evening. To be a good roommate, you must be considerate of the other people in the room.

Hygiene is Important

Again, you are sharing space with other human beings besides your immediate family. Part of becoming an adult and a good roommate is showering with soap regularly, washing your clothes or sheets weekly, brushing your teeth daily, and lastly, changing your socks and underwear daily. Trust us, your roommate(s) will thank you.

Basic Manners

This tip on being a good roommate may seem obvious, but we tend to forget manners when we are comfortable with someone. Saying “please”, “thank-you”, “you’re welcome”, or “excuse me” will go further than you think. Other nonverbal manners such as looking someone in the eye or not looking at your phone mid-conversation are important as well.

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