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7 Ways To Be A Great Bad College Roommate

What’s one thing that every college student has at least once? 

It’s not what you’re thinking. We’re talking about roommates.

Whether it’s freshman year in the dorms or splitting rent at an apartment when living off-campus, you’re most likely going to have to get used to living with someone else (if you’re an only child, you should definitely keep reading). 

And if there’s one thing you want to avoid more than the “freshman 15,” it’s being a crappy roommate. Do you leave your clothes everywhere? Do you make your bed every morning? Even if you think you’re a good one, you never know until someone calls you out. 

So, to help make sure you become friends with your roommate (or at least stand them) and not fight over laundry and food on the floor, here are 7 ways to be a great college roommate.

1.Before you move in together, start by asking your future roommate these 30 questions.
Don’t be shy, you both will be glad you did this. It’s better to prepare than expect everything will be “fine.”

2.Communicate!
Address your concerns before they grow out of control. Seriously, what good has come out of holding in your frustrations? You’re asking for one big blow up (and finding a new roommate).

3.Respect your roommate’s space.
If you grew up hating when you’re parents or siblings violated your space, chances are your roommate will feel the same way. So, here’s some expert advice. Organize your things, label your items in the fridge, give them quiet time (plan times for you to step out), NEVER throw your things on their bed or in their room.

4.  Read “Stuff Every College Student Should Know”by Blair Thornburgh (and bring your roomie a copy).
Blair said it best, “College is a lot like preschool. Be friendly, share, lay down some ground rules, use your words, and give your roomie some space.” Her short little book packs a ton of great advice.

5.Ask about potential health concerns.
This can be a little intimidating, but it’s much better to find out ahead of time than getting introduced to it blindly. Try this: “I respect your privacy, so no pressure, but are you willing to share any health issues I should know about, so I can help if there’s an emergency?” By asking it this way, you keep it more positive by offering how you can help. Issues may include food allergies, chronic health conditions, and whether or not they carry an EpiPen (used for serious allergic reactions).

6.Consider making a “roommate agreement”
that addresses things like pet peeves, guests, TV time, alcohol use, and cleanliness. Be honest, if you’re a neat freak or slob, tell them!

7.Don’t judge your roommate by their social media accounts
before meeting them. Show up on move-in day with an open mind and no expectations.

8.Be the first to apologize

9.Go out with your freshman year roommate the first couple of days of school.
You don’t have to be best friends but try to find some common interests and have more to talk about.

10.Practice patience
Remember that your roomie might also be nervous or new to sharing a small space. If they leave dirty dishes in the sink or invite guests over without you knowing, don’t come in hot right away, talk with them first. This is a life skill all of us should have.

Do you have any other tips on how to be a great college roommate? Let us know in the comments and as always, share this with someone who needs to read it (like your future roommate).

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