How To Live Peacefully With Your College Roommate

How To Live Peacefully With Your College Roommates

Going off to college is usually when most people start living with roommates. It’s a huge alteration to the life you are used to. Especially for single children, like me, who have never really had to share much of anything. As difficult as it was for me to adjust to this crazy new life with a college roommate, it was also equally fun. You may choose to live with your best friend. Or like a majority of people have college roommates who are practically strangers. Either way, you will not always live peacefully. Tensions can run high with regards to cleaning, food, money, etc. and a whole bunch of other things.

Today I want to share everything I have learned so far about living with roommates. These tips would definitely have come in handy for me when I left for college a year ago.

How To Live Peacefully With Your College Roommate

Make Communication Your Priority

Communication is one of the most important parts of any relationship. Even the one with your college roommate. Whether you live in a dorm room or an apartment, you will be sharing a space for a long time.

You need to remember that both of you might have different preferences. A healthy living arrangement comes only when these preferences are respected. So, ask questions and clear the air.

  • You like to study while playing music, will it disturb her?
  • You plan to party? How often? Is she okay with it?
  • Will we share expenses on groceries?

Basically, ask whatever you might think is important. Choose to live with someone only if you find some semblance of balance. You don’t want to get stuck with someone you don’t get along with.

Make a Roommate Agreement

This might sound downright stupid, but trust me it can save you a lot of trouble. It serves as a more tangible version of the conversation you have before moving in. You can include more “rules” if you want to.

Sure, they are not legally binding, but it is a great way to keep both you and your roommate accountable. Especially about the everyday details that need to be managed.

  • What appliances will we share? You may choose to share kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, blender, stove, etc.
  • What can be borrowed? Clear the air about sharing or borrowing clothes, makeup, food, etc.
  • Talk about “your space”. Do you mind if your roommate’s friends use your bed when you are not around? How clean do you like your space to be?

Be Honest With Your College Roommate

If there is something that bothers you, talk about it. Staying quiet about things that annoy you will only lead towards resentment. It’s best to sit down and talk when the problem is small. This way it will be easier to sort through them in a friendly manner. After all, she may not even know her actions are bothering you.

Live Peacefully With Your College Roommate

Do Your Part In Keeping The Space Clean

Don’t leave clothes all over the place. Don’t leave dirty dishes out. Help your roommate if she is trying to clean the place. You know the drill. It’s hardly fair if one person has to do a majority of the cleaning while the other only adds to the mess. It is ‘your’ place, both of yours. So make sure to help in keeping it clean.

There is no need to be extremely clean, of course. But helping with basic cleaning is a responsibility you should not skimp on. As obvious as it may seem, you’ll be surprised how many people do the very opposite. This leads to issues and arguments.

Respect Her Schedule

It’s important that you respect your roommate’s schedule. Regardless of whether you live in a tiny dorm room or a two bedroom apartment. If she has finals, avoid bringing in a bunch of friends to the party. Use your headphones when listening to music if you know she is trying to get to bed. It’s important to work around each other’s schedule in an attempt to make the living space feel like home.

It Belongs To Her

When you live together for so long, you are bound to share or borrow a few things. However, it doesn’t excuse you from asking before you decide to take or use anything that belongs to her.

Have you decided on sharing stuff? Great! However, there are limits to this as well. If you borrow her clothes, give it back, after you wash it. Don’t expect her to wash them if you wore them. Did she let you borrow her makeup once? That doesn’t give you the right to use it regularly and worse yet finish it all.

Remember, at the end of the day, your roommate’s stuff is your roommate’s stuff.

Be Courteous When Inviting People Over

You may thrive on socializing in huge groups, but that may be stressful for your roommate. You can, of course, bring friends over, but extend some courtesy when doing so.

If your roommate has to study, bringing in a bunch of friends may not be the best option. You can alternate who hits the library and who stays in the room to make it easier on both of you.

If you plan to throw a party, talk to your roommate and figure out the best day and time to invite everyone. Do not bombard her with guests when she is least expecting it.

Properly Manage Bills and Expenses

Want to know the fastest way to ruin a friendship? Money. Therefore, it’s important that everyone is responsible when it comes to shared expenses.

  • Decide who is responsible for which bill. What I mean is let one of you keep a track of when the particular bill gets paid and make sure to make the payment. Make sure each of you contributes your share on time.
  • Decide how you will split all the bills. Theoretically, bills should be split equally but is it always fair? If you are the only one who watches TV, should your roommate pay for the cable? If you leave for a two to three-week vacation, should you pay the electricity bill?

These questions may be hard to ask, but over a period of time, they become very important. Make sure you are clear about all money matters. You can also use bill management apps to make bill and expense management easier.

Be Proactive About Your Safety

It may not seem like much, but make sure you lock up after yourself. Don’t leave the doors and windows unlocked if you are leaving the room. How would you feel if your laptop got stolen because your roommate forgot to lock the doors? You may think you will only be gone for a minute, but that is long enough for things to start vanishing.

I can’t stress enough how important being responsible is. Protecting your and your roommate’s stuff is part of this responsibility.

You don’t have to be best friends or even friends with your college roommate. You only have to respect each other.

Those are all my tips about finding and living with a college roommate. If you any questions or have your own tips or stories please share them in the comments below.

If you found this post helpful or you think someone else may find it helpful, please share the image below on Pinterest!

How To Live Peacefully With Your College Roommate

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  • Reply Lalie

    Great post! When I started college I never spoke up about things that were bothering and it sucked.

    August 12, 2017 at 6:07 am
    • Reply Sushmita

      Yeah, it does suck keeping all that anger in. I learned to talk about things that bother me the hard way too!

      August 12, 2017 at 6:14 am
  • Reply Raquel

    These are great tips for living with a roommate! And, I feel I should add, not just for college. Even romantic relationships should follow these rules when mapping out a living arrangement together. Everything really comes down to communication and respect.

    August 12, 2017 at 7:05 am
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you!
      Yes, these rules apply to anyone who is living together. Its so important to communicate and respect each party involved. So far, in all my experience, that has been the ONLY problem – lack of respect and communication.

      August 12, 2017 at 7:33 am
  • Reply ivana

    I used to live with roommates during uni days, and those tips are so great to follow xo

    August 12, 2017 at 7:36 am
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you! These tips come from a lot of bad/good experiences! :p

      August 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm
  • Reply Laura

    Thanks a lot! Great post!

    August 12, 2017 at 11:04 am
    • Reply Sushmita

      I am glad you liked it!

      August 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm
  • Reply Paola Borrescio

    All very useful suggestions…I remember when I was living with other people during uni and after….it has been sometimes very challenging especially when living in 5 people in the same house….but I do agree 100% with your post. 🙂

    August 15, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Yes! Living with roommates can be so challenging. I wish I knew these tips before I started living with roommates. I am so glad you agree and like the post. 🙂

      August 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Kelly Kimmell

    Great tips! I will have to remember these to pass along to my daughter when she goes off to college.

    August 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you! Aww, I am so happy you find these helpful to pass on to your daughter, means so much! <3

      August 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Sydney

    My school actually drafts roommate contracts that RAs keep when living on campus. It’s super handy. So I totally agree with having a planned out agreement

    August 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Yes! I agree, having an agreement is so important. The idea of room contracts is not prevalent in India but I wish it was.

      August 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Sophia

    So many great tips! Pinning this 🙂

    August 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you so much! <3

      August 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Megan

    I’m glad I had my own flat when I studied. Great article was a good read

    August 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you, Megan!
      I have had it with roommates, after college I am going to stay alone too. It’s just so much better.

      August 16, 2017 at 4:42 am
  • Reply Lisa

    These are great guidelines. My daughter certainly should have used a contract with a few roommates she put up with during University. She is very easy going so never made a huge issue over things and never had disagreements but truly she was not treated right in a few instances. If they had talked about these things and made an agreement ahead of time, the months and year would have went a lot better for her! Pinned this too, your post will be helpful to a lot of parents and their students!

    August 16, 2017 at 2:19 am
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you so much, Lisa!
      Roommates can be really mean when they want to. I am sorry she had to endure all that. But hey, these issues also teach us a lot.

      August 16, 2017 at 4:44 am
  • Reply Alyssa

    Great tips!

    August 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you! 🙂

      August 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm
  • Reply Karishma Satapathy

    Love these tips! Even now that I am out of college, I still experience these issues. Something important to note is that no matter how many times you have these conversations with different roommates, it never really gets easier because everyone is different and every situation is unique. Thanks for sharing this – I hope to implement some of these to make difficult conversations somewhat more bearable! 🙂

    August 17, 2017 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply Sushmita

      Thank you! Yeah, I agree, with each roommate the conversation goes a little differently and its never easy.
      I am still learning to have difficult conversations with my roommates too.

      August 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm
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