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How To Live With Your College Roommate

Summer is coming to an end and school is in session. For most of us school is an exciting time filled with new friends, experiences and memories, but for college freshmen, one aspect can be somewhat daunting. I’m talking about living with your random college roommate. I spent four years at Florida State University, where I had my fair share of great and terrible roommate experiences. From an overflowing sink of dirty dishes to rotten food in the fridge, the annoying habits of college roommates can make or break your college experience. Here are a few tips on how to live with your college roommate.

1. Communication: I learned over time that communication is the key to roommate success. Instead of sweeping your irritants under the rug, speak up. I’m not telling you to go WWE on your awful roomie, but by calmly telling them what’s bugging you, you can open the door to healthy communication and positive results.

2. Respect: Nobody likes cleaning a mess, much less somebody else’s. Clean up after yourself! According to WTVR CBS 6 News, a 19-year old female college student from Michigan State tried to poison her roommate over a dispute about dirty dishes — are you kidding me? Just grab the Dawn and get cleaning!

3. Borrow, Don’t Steal: This has to be my biggest pet peeve. As a woman, I love to share clothing, shoes and even make up with friends, but there is a big difference between sharing and stealing. Over the five years of roommate interaction, I have had more items “misplaced” than I can even remember. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “how rude!” Just makeask for permission and be direct if something of yours goes missing. (Or be honest if you’re the one who misplaces an item!)

4. Bills, Bills, Bills: TLC put it best when they sang, “I don’t want no scrubs,” and that goes for roommates, too. There’s nothing more annoying than a roommate “forgetting” to pay the electric bill. Take the initiative and set a date when all checks are due, or set up an auto-pay account with the utilities company.

5. You Don’t Have to Be Friends: Probably my biggest downfall. Once you accept the fact that not every roommate you have will be your best pal, the easier your life will be. Every year, in a house of four girls, there was always one roomie that kept to herself — never went out, studied all the time, and more a part of the couch than the leather. But as long as the living situation is good, it’s fine if you two don’t become lifelong friends. Sometimes it’s even better to live with someone who has no connection to the other people and events in your life — a completely neutral, drama-free person who has no unrealistic expectations of you or your time. It’s a tough pill to swallow initially, but it can work out great in the long run.

Happy rooming!