Roommate etiquette

Moving in to your new dorm or digs with new roomates, is an exciting step in the life of a college/university student. Away from home; this will be place where you will work hard and play hard. This will be where you will share life on campus. 

At home, the rules were those of your parents. ‘Our house, our rules’, they said. In your new home on campus the dos and don’ts will be up to you and the other student(s) you share your pad with.

To ensure harmony at the onset of your new relationship, set up an agreement to clarify expectations and avoid conflicts.This document can be the result of a brainstorming session that addresses the sights, the smells and the sounds that you will be coping with in your new living arrangement. It should foremost be based on mutual respect.

Here is a list that can serve as inspiration to write up simple guidelines for harmony in your dorm:

  • Alcohol, smoking and drugs
  • Cleanliness
  • Confidentiality and privacy; including sex
  • Payment agreement and due dates
  • Safety and security
  • Visitors and visiting hours
  • Your stuff; groceries included

Lastly, don’t let the small stuff become big stuff. In the event that you are ‘tiffed’, ‘annoyed’ or ‘niggled’ by something your roomie has done or said, take the time to communicate it, right away. Don’t leave a note, send an irate email, tweet or facebook how you feel. Do it face to face and do not attack your roommate but, the conflict.

Best of luck in your new relationship and enjoy the comaraderie! You will be making memories and hopefully friendships that can last for your entire life.