How to not be the roommate from hell

Adjusting to campus life can be difficult, especially when you have to share a new living space with someone else. Whether your new roommate is someone you have known since high school or a complete stranger, you want to avoid several annoying and damaging behaviors. To help you be aware of these behaviors, here are five habits of an awful roommate that you will want to avoid.

1. Not sticking to the contract

At the beginning of the semester, students are given a contract to read together and discuss so that everyone can live in peace.

Topics like how often the bathroom should be cleaned, sleeping hours and agreeing to stay to one side of the room are all included in this contract. Remaining loyal to the contract can lead to a very successful partnership, and possibly friendship. Simple tasks like washing your dishes and making your bed will also impress your roommate and prevent fights.

2. Invading personal bubbles

Just because you and your roommate both worship Beyonce does not guarantee that you will be best friends for life. You should be friendly and respectful, but don’t move into your new living situation expecting to find your other half in a new roommate.

Avoid invasive behaviors such as going on your roommate’s side of the room without consent, or using their possessions without permission. It’s good to ask small-talk questions in order to get to know your roommate, but avoid personal questions that might irritate or offend.

3. Not making an effort

Personal space and privacy are beautiful things, but don’t be afraid to crawl out of your shell a little and make an effort to socialize with your roomie.

Sometimes absolute silence can be translated as snobbishness or dislike. If you are more of an introvert, make that clear to your roommate so that they will understand that you aren’t comfortable initiating conversations. Misunderstandings can create barriers between people without them even realizing it.

4. Passive-aggressive tendencies

You would assume up-front confrontation is more damaging than leaving sassy notes about your roommate’s hair being all over the bathroom floor—however, making passive-aggressive comments or notes to your roommate can make the situation worse.

Instead, try approaching your roommate calmly and rationally by resolving the matter so that you both can live comfortably together. Unless you feel your roommate is being irrationally aggressive towards you, don’t immediately go to your RA. Try to first resolve the situation and talk it out. If that doesn’t work, then go to your RA.

5. Unannounced sleepovers

You would think this would be a no-brainer, but there are countless stories of students who have switched to single rooms because their roommates have had unwelcome guests over at inappropriate times of night and in inappropriate situations. Not only is this an extreme violation of privacy, it is also rude and selfish. Yes, you have been told through movies and social media that these are the years to experiment and try new things, but keep in mind how your actions might affect other people’s sleep cycles.

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