Our one couch became her bed, she combed her hair in the kitchen, she didn’t pay rent or utilities, and our Christmas gift was a sink left full of water and dishes that had grown into a science experiment.
She was a teammate I invited to stay the night so she didn’t have to do her hourly commute to our 6 a.m. weight training the next day. She went from teammate to couch surfer to worst roommate ever.
Jazzmine Loveridge, a sophomore elementary education major from West Jordan and resident assistant for Dixie State University housing, said most students have no idea what they are getting into with their first roommate.
Here are eight steps to both be a good roommate and to have a peaceful coexistence.
Hello, it’s me, your roommate
Don’t wait for move-in day to introduce yourself. You can probably find your roommate on social media to gain insight as to who your roommate is, but don’t just cyber-stalk them. Do the Adele thing and say hello. If you are really smart, you could collaborate with your roomie on who can bring what.
Forrest Gee, a junior criminal justice major from Herriman, said you need to remember you are sharing space, and there usually isn’t a lot of it in student housing. So leave your oversized teddy bear behind, and remember you can still have style without your twenty thousand pair of shoes. Pack clothes that are easy to mix and match, and take things that are necessary or useful for everyone. Keep sentimental things to a minimum; besides, you will make plenty of memories in college.
Get out of your comfort zone
Loveridge said a lot of people come to college not knowing anybody, so a good person to start getting to know is your roommate. Invite your roommate out to a campus event, to go to a sports game, or get 99-cent hotdogs at Iceberg, because those experiences will start to create a relationship.
Freeloading is prohibited
Be responsible. Plan ahead to make rent and pay bills. If you live on campus, you probably signed an individual lease and saved yourself the headache of utilities. If you live off campus, split the responsibilities. One person can sign the renting lease, another can put utilities under his or her name, and someone else can set up the Wi-Fi. This will make each of you accountable for the expenses. Do your roomies a favor and remind them when expenses need to be paid, but be prepared to be a bad guy if you have to.
Pay chores forward
It’s like paying for the person behind you in the Starbucks line. Do your roommates’ dishes once in awhile, ask if they have any laundry they need washed, or offer them some of the hot dinner you cooked after they have had long days at school. These random acts of kindness will go a long way in creating cooperation.
Nip it in the bud
Don’t let things fester. Tell your roommate right away when something he or she is doing is bugging you.
Gee said if you tell them later, it might be too late.
The more you ignore your roomie leaving hair in the shower, the more he or she will argue that it never bugged you before.
Don’t make or take things personally
Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life, said take it one pet peeve at a time, and make sure you address the problem when you are calm.
Gubler said the pet peeve is probably a habit of your roommate’s, and he or she likely doesn’t know it’s bugging you.
So if a roommate comments on your dishwashing skills, he or she isn’t attacking you directly; he or she just wants to eat off clean dishes.
You can learn from your roomies
Gubler said college is a learning experience and that includes learning to work with a variety of people who are different, like your roommate.
“(Roommates) expose you to different perspectives, backgrounds, philosophies, faiths, histories and goals, and if you can learn to understand their differences, whether you agree or disagree with them, it will help you in future relationships,” Gubler said.