Tips for living with roommates

Mally Nichols, Reporter

Many students live with roommates during college. Typically, freshmen end up living with at least one other person, if not two other people, depending on the type of housing. 

Sometimes it can be a difficult transition for people who’ve never had to share a room with anyone in their entire life. That means learning how to cohabitate with each other is important. 

Drama with roommates is unnecessary stress, especially for students, so here are some tips for handling your new living situation with a roommate or two.

Communicate and be open-minded

If you’re going to be living with someone you’ve potentially never met before, it’s important to start conversations early. Get to know each other and establish something of a relationship, even if it isn’t a friendship. Keep in mind that roommates don’t always make good friends, you just have to live together in a civil manner. 

Respect each other and each other’s stuff

Keep in mind that this is a shared space, but that doesn’t necessarily make it shared stuff. Leave your roommate’s things alone and don’t go snooping around in places you don’t belong. One of the best ways to prevent conflict is to keep your nose to yourself.

Deal with problems as a team

Being roommates is just like any other relationship, which means that issues are likely to come up. It’s best to make sure you and your roommates are prepared with a plan if or when a problem arises. Whether the issue is big or small, it’s better to handle it maturely and immediately before things get worse.

Keep the dwelling clean

Chores among roommates are also a team effort. Make sure that the work is evenly distributed amongst each resident and that everyone is carrying their weight. If the work can be split in half or even into thirds, keeping the home clean becomes much easier. Maybe even make a chore list to keep everyone on track.

Set clear expectations and boundaries

This is just step two of communication. If there’s something you or your roommates are uncomfortable with, it’s important to communicate that to each other. Even if it seems awkward to talk about, it could prevent major issues in the future if everyone is in the know.

Be courteous and use common sense

Courtesy goes a long way with roommates. Keep in mind that the space is not just yours, but everyone else’s too, and your actions or behaviors may impact the other residents. Some pro tips? Wear headphones, refill the Brita water pitcher if you have one, and please remember to lock the door when you leave.

Make a roommate agreement

If it’s too difficult to keep up with expectations and rules amongst each roommate involved, try drafting up a roommate agreement. Let it keep track of the rules and boundaries for you. This way, everything is written down and stored for reference in the future if any issues arise.


Whether you’re living with one roommate or two, it’s important to remember that they’re in the same exact situation as you, and living with someone totally new can be scary. Just be yourself, be polite, and if all else fails, just follow the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.


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