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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Roommate advice for playing nice

    College is the first time many people will live in the same room as another human being, let alone a human being they’ve never met before. It can be a stressful experience and a big adjustment, but coming from an experienced college student, here are some tips to making the experience enjoyable for both roommates.

    Share your food

    Dorm room mini-fridges are very small and there is little space for refrigerated food. Instead of bickering over space, a simple solution is to just share. Go to the store together, split the cost of community items and don’t get all worked up when your leftover chow mein is missing: nobody likes a fridge monitor.

    Communication is key

    Any good relationship is built on a foundation of openness and understanding. Keep an open dialogue with your roommate by asking how their day went or how they like their classes so far. Most importantly, communicate any issues that come up immediately, rather than letting the problem fester in your mind all year until the stress of finals causes you to boil over. The chances are, they didn’t even know there was a problem. Notes, however, do not count as communication. From experience, a sticky note on dirty dishes that reads “unacceptable” is not helpful.

    Hang out with each other

    Student housing assignments are not completely random. Roommates can also be paired according to commonalities and shared interests. Find out each others similarities and exploit them. My roommate freshman year loved beating me at NCAA Football 2010; it wasn’t much fun for me and I could never muster more than a touchdown or two, but it kept him happy and me sane. That ended up being the only thing we ever did together, but it was enough. College is unlike anything else you will ever experience in life. Give people a chance.

    Be hygenic

    A smelly roommate leads to a smelly room, and nobody likes a smelly room. Load up on body wash and make sure you shower every day. Most people don’t realize they smell bad until someone tells them because they get used to their own smell. Sometimes, you can’t trust your own nose. This applies to food as well. The food you grew up eating may smell normal to you, but to others it can be overpoweringly bad. Indian food is delicious, but you should probably stick to eating it at the restaurant. Finally, get some Febreze for the bathroom: you know why.

    Like any new experience, dorm life is what you make of it. You can either be the person who always hangs out in bed and doesn’t make new friends, or you can use an awkward situation to your advantage to improve your freshman year. Friends are important at college, especially in the first year when you’re still learning the ropes. Who knows, maybe your new roommate knows how to do laundry. I sure wish mine had.

    — Tyler Johnson is a journalism senior. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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