Whether you were already friends, connected online or were randomly assigned by a mysterious university computer system, college roommates are scary. What if you don't get along? What if they're messy?
Here are Snoozeenie's tips for how to survive your college roommate.
#1 REACH OUT (BEYOND PURE LOGISTICS) BEFORE MOVE-IN.
#2 COME UP WITH A FAIR CLEANING/CHORES SCHEDULE.
Differences in cleanliness can be a major source of conflict, especially when duties all get shifted to one roommate. One way to prevent this is to come up with a clear cleaning schedule for basic tasks: taking out the trash, sweeping, etc.
There are several templates for these cleaning charts (with varying degrees of glitter and/or craftiness) all over Pinterest.
We personally like this straightforward one:
#3 ADAPT TO AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER'S SLEEPING HABITS.
This is a big one because having a solid sleep schedule has a massive impact on overall health, academic performance and mood.
What if you are an early riser and your roomie is a night owl? Or your roommate likes to watch Netflix before bed? These aren't necessarily bad things (**unlike repeatedly hitting "snooze" on your alarm in the morning--DON'T EVER DO THAT). These are differences that require compromise to keep things running smoothly.
One way to avoid conflict is to get a Snoozeenie--which blocks out light, stifles sound, and creates a personal sleep space.
That way, you can catch some ZZZ's even if your roomie wants to stay up reading or studying.
Click here to check out Snoozeenie.
#4 LEARN EACH OTHER'S ROUTINES BY PRINTING OUT AND DISPLAYING CLASS SCHEDULES.
This is something that made a huge difference in this Snoozeenie Master's college experience: when I lived with five other people, it was hard to adjust to everyone's routines or know where everyone was. What we eventually did was print off everyone's class schedules and placed them right by the door.
Here is what one looked like:
People also added their extracurriculars and work schedules. By having these schedules readily available, we were able to adjust to one another's routines and have a better idea of everyone's comings and goings.
#5 ALWAYS, ALWAYS CHANGE THE TOILET PAPER ROLL WHEN YOU REALIZE IT'S EMPTY.
Self-explanatory. Do it.
#6 DON'T RESORT TO PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE NOTES... TALK TO YOUR ROOMIE DIRECTLY!
One thing we've seen all over the internet are leaving "cute little suggestions" for your roommate... Like this little gem from Reddit:
Uh, no. This is a sure-fire way to breed resentment. If there is an issue, be an adult and just ask them about it. We know that confrontation (even on minor issues like refilling the water pitcher) can be intimidating, especially with people you might not know particularly well. In the end, however, open communication is the best way to keep the peace. Don't be afraid to tell your roomie what you're thinking!
#7 COME UP WITH A GUEST POLICY...
... This includes a "special" guest policy.
Clearly outline the boundaries regarding guests: 1) how often they can visit, 2) how long they can stay, and 3) the rules they need to respect when they are over.
Be open with one another to avoid uncomfortable situations. Always try to give your roommate plenty of notice--a warning text is better than a surprise rubber band on the door handle. Also, don't let your guests overstay their welcome; be especially wary of overnight guests--make sure your roommate is cool with it because it is their space too!
#8 REALIZE THAT SOMETIMES ROOMMATE SITUATIONS DON'T WORK OUT. AND THAT'S OKAY.
Despite your best efforts, some roommates just aren't meant to be. There's this odd expectation that you have to be BFF's with your roommate and, oftentimes, that's not the case. There is a difference between being friends with your roommate versus being able to live with them. Not everyone is meant to co-habitat and that's not your fault! Just stay friendly, respectful, and open... We guarantee you will survive!