How to be a Better Roommate (Demo)

With the spring semester rolling in there are several students who have new roommates. There are also students who are moving back in with their old roommates. I know that nobody could possibly have any problems with their roommates (right?), but just in case, here’s a few ways to be a better roommate.
First off hygiene. Nobody wants a slob as a roommate. Keeping your share of the room clean and not leaving your clothes all over the place will help keep you from getting on your roommates’ last nerves. It’s also important to keep yourself clean. Nobody wants a bad smelling roommate either. So take showers on a regular basis, brush your teeth, and do all the other things your parents have been telling you to do since you were little.
Don’t be a hog. Another key to being a better roommate is to share the space, don’t hog it. Our rooms are already small enough as it is, so to overcrowd it with tons of clothes and too many things is not a good idea. It can lead to arguments and stress in such a confined space.
Be considerate. Take your roommate into consideration when you are being loud or doing things that may be irritating to other people, make sure that you aren’t constantly irritating your roommate. Also if there are certain things you like to do that you know your roommate can not stand, such as blaring out explicit rap music from your loud speaker, try to do those things when your roommate is not around or when they go home for the weekend.  
Be a friend. The key to successful roommate relationships is to talk, hang out, go places together, and as Tanner Brown, my own roommate says, “bring food” instead of just being roommates. Remember, college is where most people meet their lifelong friends. Who knows what kind of long-lasting relationship could be sparked by being a friendly roommate this year?
Be around. This also ties into being a friend but you cannot become friends with your roommate if you are never around. You’ll just be the roommate that is never seen. So take the time to establish a friendship.
Be careful. Don’t bring somebody that you don’t trust into your room. It is not just your belongings that are at risk, another person’s things can also be taken. Also talk to your roommate before bringing somebody over. That way they will be ready when you introduce them, instead of being unprepared or caught off guard when you show up.
Communicate. Communication is the most important aspect to being a good roommate. Keeping your roommate informed as to what you are doing so that you know when to expect each other to be or not to be around is very important. Nobody wants to walk in on their roommate getting it on, so make sure that if you are going to be doing something let your roommate know the room is occupied or take it somewhere else. That way you do not scar your roommate for life. The popular RA Terrace Lynn Myles Jr. says a main quality of compatible roommates is “being able to communicate.” “Communication is key,” says Myles. “There are several conflicts because of lack of communication and they lead to bigger disputes. Roommates need to communicate with each other to express how they feel.”
Being a better roommate doesn’t mean not being yourself, it just means taking another person into consideration. With this knowledge go on and have a great semester, and hopefully establish a great relationship with your roommate, new or old.

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