We here at TP are all about making your life a little easier. So, why not clearly spell out the blunt/actually important rules of being a roommate?
1. Thou Shalt Not Be A D*ck.
A general rule of life. Just be a nice, normal person. You have to live with them, so be nice.
2. Thou Shalt Not Use Passive-Aggression. Thou Shall Use Your Words Instead, For Most Roommate Problems Are Solved With Communication.
Most problems are easily solved by talking about it. It’s not a big deal if they shed all over the room or forget to take out the trash. Just asking them to take care of it usually will solve the problem. If it’s a bigger issue, you’re better off talking about it before going to a higher order (like your RA). Communicate.
3. Thou Shall Give Thy Roommate Fair Warning When Receiving “Da Booty” and Thou Shall Respect Thy Roommate’s Need for “Da Booty”, but Thou Shall Also Acknowledge Thy Roommate’s Right To Sleep in His/Her Own Bed.
Seriously, not a big deal. We all need some *ahem* alone- time with others. It’s college. We have needs.
Just text your roommate and ask for a reasonable amount of time. Texting is the absolute best method of asking for the room.
But if you are the sexiler, make sure that you’re not asking with super short notice, and don’t do it every night. It’s your roommate’s room too, obviously.
4. Thou Shall Clean Up After Yourselves, And Thou Shall Decide on a Desired Level of Cleanliness with Thy Roommate.
If you need the room to be insanely clean, talk to your roommate about it. My roommate and I had ground rules about cleaning (like making our beds) and it worked out great. We even had a schedule with our shared bathroom, which was great because each of us only had to clean it once a month.
5. Thou Shall Offer The Roommate Pizza If The Offer Is Genuine, and Thou Shall Help Thy Roommate Finish Off Any Care Package, Pizza, Alcohol, and Any Other Food When Asked.
The genuine part is important. If you really don’t care if your roommate eats your food, they’ll appreciate it if you share. At the same time, if there are specific things you don’t want them eating (hummus was off-limits in my room), just tell them.
Sometimes you’ll get a care package or have a ton of leftovers; feel free to spread the wealth with your roomie.
Or else you’ll have nights like when I ate an entire pizza and my roommate came home at 3AM to find me sick to my stomach.
6. Thou Shall Respect Thy Roommate’s Property.
This one will depend on the type of relationship you have. But if you and your roommate aren’t close enough to share your things, respect that. Ask before you use anything. And if you break something own up to it and offer to pay for the replacement.
7. Thou Shall Forgive The Minor Issues, Because They Are Minor and Not Malicious.
You have to live with this person for an entire year, so choose your battles wisely. If there’s a real problem, speak up, but know when it’s not worth the time. There’s a difference between “Hey could you take out the trash?” and “You didn’t take out the trash and I hate you now, you’re so irresponsible!”
8. Thou Shall Acknowledge Thy Roommate’s Right To Not Wear Pants Whilst at Home, and Thou Shall Acknowledge Thy Roommate’s Right Not To See Your Genitals
While my roommate and I never had this problem, I know many people who have complained of this issue.
Really, it’s all about ground rules.
Day 1 of school Jess and I decided that we were both cool with changing in the room or in front of each other. But if you’re not comfortable with that, just talk about it. They won’t know unless you tell them.
9. Thou Shall Use a Lamp or Cell Phone When Thy Roommate Is Sleeping or Trying to Sleep, For Sleep Is Holy Among All Things.
Basically, if you want to go to sleep, tell your roomie! My roommate and I never went to bed at the same time, but we were totally okay with it because we both were fine with switching to lamp-light late at night. Priority should go to the sleeper in this situation; just make sure you have a lamp at your desk and bed.
10. Thou Shall Have a Separate Life From Thy Roommate, and Will Understand That Thou Art Different People. But Thou Shall Also Be a Kind And Wonderful Roommate For The Year You Must Live With This Person. Because When Roommates Work Out, They Rock.
Don’t spend all of your time with your roommate. It will make your time in your room special, and will give you a fresh set of ears all the time. A roommate relationship is a special one, because you see the good and the bad. But having a friend to go home to at night is great.