We all have quirks and habits that our family members have come to live with. But going off to college means you’re leaving that protected den of endearment to live with a stranger. You may have talked with them a few times before move-in day, but you’re not going to find out everything about them — just as they’re not going to find out everything you.

RelatedGetting Along With Your Roommate

Instead of concerning yourself with what it’ll be like to live with them and their potentially strange or disrespectful habits, think about your own bad habits in order to be a better roommate. Because what you used to do behind closed doors may no longer be private.

Ask your family to list some of your less-than-pleasant habits that you may not be aware of. Let them give you real criticism, as it’ll make your dorm life easier. Because your roommate may not be as forgiving as your parents or siblings.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • Noise: Living in such close quarters, it’s hard to avoid annoying your roommate every now and then. But coming in late and slamming down on your bed every other night will not help your cause.
  • Cleanliness: Your roommate has to live there too; respect them (and yourself) by keeping your side clean. You don’t have to take it to a military extreme, but don’t leave your dirty clothes or food out in the open.
  • Personal Space: Don’t go rummaging through your roommates stuff or bring friends over and let them get comfortable on your roommate’s bed. Unless you’ve gotten really chummy, really fast, they’re not to just brush it off.

Creating a livable environment with a roommate is all about mutual consideration. Let them know you’ll try your best not to leave your stinky socks on their side of the room and they’ll promise to put it on door knob when their SO visits.


Image: Matt Radick