There are multiple pieces of advice that you can find on the Internet on how to deal with a bad roommate. However, is there any type of guide on how to be a good roommate yourself (or show it to the person you live with)? We decided to create one, so everyone can learn simple rules that will make co-living easy and fun.
Each dorm and learning institution set its own housing rules, which might differ from one another. So, there is no one general rulebook that we can put in here. However, all the guidelines that you should stick to can be found in the documents that you sign when moving in or on the website of your learning institution. Usually, these rules are not that hard to follow and are easy to remember, alongside general etiquette rules that everyone should be acknowledged with.
Residential policies have a strong argumentation on why they should be followed even if it’s not specified. They all serve the safety and wellbeing of you and other residents, so make sure to follow them even if you don’t agree with everything that your dorm requires you to do. For example, you might not be allowed to light up candles in your room, and it’s understandable because of fire safety reasons.
The majority of conflicts between roommates could have been avoided if they both were sticking to a simple rule of CAY – Clean After Yourself. If you spill something – wipe it down; if you have laundry to do – don’t pile it in the corner; if you have dinner – wash your dishes (and don’t forget about the frying pan, duh). It doesn’t take much time to clean if you do it right away.
You should also create a cleaning schedule for you and your roommate to make sure you both put effort into making your room or apartment fresh and pleasant to stay in. It doesn’t matter what it is – cleaning your shower cabin or wiping mirrors every now and then – it should be put in the schedule. Don’t avoid doing some choirs, and make sure your roommate is also involved in the cleaning process.
Playing drums in the middle of the night might seem like a good idea to you – but remember, ONLY to you. Unless you are living in the deep forest alone, you should consider other people around you and the fact that everyone lives according to their daily schedules, which might not align with yours. Some students have night shifts and sleep during the day; others might get up very early in the morning. No matter what time of day it is, make sure you don’t create much noise. Otherwise, you will soon be considered as a “problematic neighbor,” and, trust us, it will not make your college experience any better.
Whenever you and your roommate have small or big conflicts, the best decision is to cool down and discuss the problem. Avoiding such conversations might lead to misunderstanding and larger fights as time goes by. It’s not that hard to sit down and talk about things that bother you about your co-living conditions and terms. If you feel like you have a lot to say, it’s better to write down a list and stick to it during the conversation. Don’t cross the line, and don’t try to humiliate or hurt another person. Simply talk about each thing from your list and the reason why you think it should be another way. Many conflicts are easy to solve when both people are calm and ready to listen to one another. Make sure you are also there to listen to your roommate and what they have to say to you. It might seem like you are the perfect roommate until another person tells you differently.
It’s always great to discuss all the important things right from the beginning. When you move in with another person, there are so many things you have to think about and so many emotions that you cannot always remind yourself about the need to discuss all the rules and details with another person. However, it’s crucial. Sit down and talk about simple rules that you establish between one another. Such as inviting guests, cleaning schedule, daily habits, pets, groceries, personal property, and space, etc. Make sure the two of you come to a compromise and set the rules that satisfy both of you.
Living with another person is not always all cakes and butterflies. However, if you are both willing to make it work and create a space that both of you will enjoy, then there is nothing impossible. Even the most different people can live together without any problems if they talk and respect each other.