The Basics of Being a Good Roommate

20100407students4663Almost every college student has their fair share of roommate horror stories. What most people don’t realize, however, is that they probably have some not so great roommate qualities themselves. But don’t fear, it’s not difficult to be a good roommate! Here’s a list of roommate stereotypes, and some tips on how not to be labeled as one of them.

Pig Pen: This is almost exclusively applicable to guys. This gross person can usually be found eating in bed, or right behind his giant trash pile on the floor. Be considerate of your roommate and throw your trash in the trash can. Also, take the trash out. Otherwise, the garbage will overflow the and inevitably attract bugs….believe me, it happens all the time.

Music Show-off: Every dorm floor will have at least one of these. You can usually find them in their room bragging about their powerful sub-woofer that can shake the building, or showing off their brand new album. Please, for the love of God, be considerate of everyone else on the planet. Whether it’s quiet hours or not, there is no reason that everyone in the building needs to know what song you’re listening to. Only play music loud enough for you to hear, and if your roommate’s trying to work, or just relax, turn the volume down.

The “Borrower”: I get that it’s OUR room, but unless you ask to use something that isn’t yours, it’s not cool to use it. This rule can be completely disregarded if you’re very good friends with your roommate, in which case, do whatever you want. However, if you’re really just roommates, or acquaintances, take the time to ask before you borrow. It’s really just common courtesy.

Just remember, people aren’t always going to be exactly who you want them to be. So just relax, go with the flow and try to accept your roommate for who they are. Unless of course they’re all three of these examples in one. In which case, you should probably go ahead and move out. Have any awful roommate stories? Share them in the comments section below!

Entering The Housing Selection Process by Yourself?

Entering housing as an individual is a tough thing to do. It builds anxiety as you wait to see who you will be paired up with. Will you have one roommate, or will you have 2 roommates? Will you have to share rooms, will you have bunk beds? Will you have to share a shower with the whole floor, or just with your roommates? These are the things incoming students, or even transfer students think about as they get ready for a semester at their new school. For some schools, you are given your assignment early in the summer along with who your roommates will be as well. I know for returning students in my college, housing assignments along with who you are paired up with are not given out until the middle of August. This brings major anxiety to individual students. It just simply does not give much time for roommates to communicate on what is needed for the dorm, who will bring what accessories, and not enough time to even get to know each other.

I heard a statistic once that 75 percent of first year roommates that were randomly paired up end up staying together. That truly is an amazing statistic to know that for the most part these schools are essentially doing the right thing when pairing roommates together. I know in my case as a transfer I was put together with two random roommates who had many similarities but they are not my roommates for the upcoming year. I did not have any problems living with them and that is a great thing.

Colleges pair people up by using surveys. In these surveys they ask questions about all types of things including, sleep schedule, favorite music genre, interest in sports, if you smoke, activities, hobbies, etc. A few of these things can easily be used to pair people together and create an instant connection. So, certainly do not fill in information that you think is “cool”. Do not fill information that is incorrect because then you will be paired incorrectly.

All the built up anxiety going into your freshman year, or just simply as an individual will hopefully lead up to roommates that you will enjoy and won’t have a problem with. I sure know I had anxiety to find out who I would be rooming with. I knew I would immediately Facebook them, message them, and see who was bringing what. It’s an interesting thing the housing selection process and apparently it’s decently accurate. As I said before, I won’t be rooming with the roommates that I was randomly selected with for this most recent year and it certainly isn’t because we didn’t connect, I just found kids that I consider my best friends now and I couldn’t turn down rooming with them.

Don’t panic individuals! The statistics prove that MOST of you should be fine. Those of you that do not like your roommates, well, you must have bad luck. There is always next year. Good Luck!

How to Resolve Conflict with a Roommate

Odds are, in college, you’re going to find yourself bickering with a roommate. Two people can only be around each other for so long before they begin to argue. The best thing to do is to understand that these arguments are going to happen before they actually happen. Here’s how to be prepared.

A fight can cause a lot of drama between two people that have to live in the same room. Arguments may spark from the tiniest things. My roommates used to argue over the dishwasher.  One of them didn’t like how the other one placed their dishes to be cleaned. She would take the dirty dishes out and rearrange them to her content instead of yelling. This is a great plan, because if you’re the one being picky, you must also be the one to compromise.

I once got into a debate with my roommate over noise. She thought I was too loud and I thought she was too sensitive. This debate lasted all year long. She would go to bed at 10 o clock on a Saturday and then expect me to be quiet when I returned home. She would also sleep away most of her afternoon and expect me to be dead silent in the middle of the day. This fight could have ended sooner if we had communicated and formed compromises.

What happens if you have a fight with a roommate that isn’t over something as simple as your living habits? I mean a REAL fight. The best thing to do in this situation is to give each other space for a while to cool off. After you cool off, try talking it out. Place yourself in their shoes and try and see their point of view. Sometimes role playing can help you understand the other person better. If they don’t want to resolve anything, then it is out of your control.  Best advice then is to find a new roomie.

In conclusion, you’re most likely going to find yourself in conflict with a roommate at some point in the year. The answer to the problem is usually just communication and compromise. Try and stay calm and speak rationally, try to understand each other. Hopefully, your conflict can be resolved and you can live peacefully once again.

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology

10 Benefits of Living Off Campus

In all of my six years in college (be nice I am working on my third degree) I have never lived in a dorm.  I never saw the appeal of living in the dorms.  I just saw them as small, generally smelly spaces that hundreds of people have slept in prior to me arriving.  So I always chose to live off campus.

Sure there were some drawbacks including parking passes and paying rent, but there were also a lot of perks.  I have my own space, my own room, and my own bathroom.  I had a roommate in my first apartment, but at least I got to choose who they were.  I believe that the biggest perk of living off campus was that it taught me how to be responsibile.  I had to work to pay my rent and bills, so I quickly learned how to multi-task.  This also taught me about the art of money management and budgeting.  Trust me, living in Florida and having your electric shut off in the middle of summer will really teach you to pay your bills on time!  Here are some of the reasons that I think it is better to live off-campus while in college:

Reason #1 – You are in charge of every aspect of your living situation.  If you want to leave dishes in the sink and come home drunk at 3am you can.

Reason #2 – It teaches you economic responsibility.  You are in charge of paying rent, bills and all the other expenses.

Reason #3 – You get to have pets (If your landlord allows it).

Reason #4 – If you need to, or choose to, have roommates you are the one selecting them not a college admission counselor.

Reason #5 – You get your own kitchen and bathroom.

Reason #6 – If you have odd living tendencies (like needing to mop your floors three times a day) then you are free to do it without judgment in your own space.

Reason #7 – You are always accountable, again teaching you even more responsibility.  It is your job to get up and head to class, there is not a friend down the hall who will bang on your door to make sure you are awake.

Reason #8 – FREEDOM! There is no RA overseeing your behavior and there is no need to sign in or out.

Reason #9 – You learn the reality of how much things cost.  Buying dishes, towels, curtains, etc. gets SUPER expensive quickly and it is better to learn that lesson sooner than later.

Reason #10 – You get to have a car that you don’t have to walk a mile to get to.

Can you think of any other benefits of living off campus? Sound off in the comments below!



I’m reading Human Resource Management

7 Ways to Deal with Your New Roommate

Roommates are annoying, especially freshman year when they are randomly assigned to you.  Forced compatibility is rough no matter how social you are.  Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

#1 Confess to your roommate that you’re confused, sexually and carnivorously.  Lament daily that you should be a vegetarian but just can’t quit eating bacon.

#2 Start every story you tell him/her about high school with “We got so hammered and then ….” End every story with “hilarity ensued.”

#3 Blare loud music so that all your hallmates will have to stop by at least once to tell you to turn it down.  Any publicity is good publicity.

#4 If your roommate tells you about someone they like, be VERY supportive of their opinions.  Tell them how smoking hot that person is, how you’d be all over them if they weren’t already into them, and then for good measure, flirt with that person at parties to prove you were not lying when you said they were attractive.

#5 Stock up on pungent foods like garlic and old cheese.  That way if you need them to vacate, you open up your stinky stash just long enough for them to hightail it to the library.  Blame it on the dining hall food you ate last night.

#6 Wait until the pile of dirty clothes is taking up 1/5 of your total floor space to do laundry, then brag about how “green” you are being by hanging your clothes around the room.  If she get pissy about your wet floor, lay some eco-guilt on her.

#7 Related to the last one, you can further impress them with your environmentally consciousness by only flushing after number 2.  If they complain, show them some stats about lack of clean water in developing countries.  They will roll their eyes at first, but just keep talking and they will totally get it.

Have any roommate horror stories from someone who did anything on this horrifying list?  Let us know in the comments section.



I’m reading Elementary Statistics