OPINION | For the sake of your fellow residents, be a responsible, respectful roommate

Sharing a place with many roommates is difficult, but sharing a collective living room while living separate lifestyles proves to be a challenge. These roommates are cooking, doing homework and watching a movie together, all while sharing time and space in the small dorm, which requires patience and mindful etiquette. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Walking into my kitchen in just my underwear this Sunday morning, unexpectedly meeting one of my roommate’s one-night stands, is where I finally draw the line.

If you are trying to not be “that” roommate, all you need is a little consideration for others, a pinch of cleanliness and a dash of self-awareness.

If you wouldn’t like something done to your home, belongings or self, chances are your roommates wouldn’t either. In shared living areas there are some boundaries all roommates should know and learn.

To people who grew up being told, “If it’s not clean when I get home” and “Don’t make me count to three,” you would think these boundaries were common sense. However, some people unfortunately lack the common sense and home training to be aware of boundaries.

For those of you who need to learn or review shared living area etiquette, here they are.

Don’t use others’ things without permission, clean up after yourself in a timely manner, keep devices and voices at lower volumes, and notify or ask other roommates before inviting guests to enter the shared spaces.

Your roommates should never leave dishes in the sink or on the counter longer than four days, blast music in the living room that other roommates can hear in their rooms, and most importantly, invite groups of people to come over or spend the night without discussing it with you.

Prepare yourself for when you find out that 4-year-olds know how to clean up after themselves better than some grown adults. Don’t be that person that leaves messes for others to clean up.

Your roommates should never have to clean up your dishes so they can do theirs, step into food that you were too lazy to pick up, or wipe up messes you left on the counter. They also should not have to throw out the moldy food that is growing in the fridge. They are not your personal maids.

If you have a roommate who has early morning classes, they might end up going to bed a little earlier. As they go to bed, it is not the time to invite multiple friends over, play loud music or get tipsy, especially on a weeknight. A good rule of thumb is to not do anything that is noisy past 11 p.m.

While living in the same apartment as others, the night is not the time to sneak multiple people who you just met to spend the night. Everyone in the house hears your one-night stand walking through the front door and everything else.

Be courteous because not every roommate will feel safe with random people going in and out of their home on a regular basis, especially when they are vulnerable to abuse or theft while sleeping.

Be aware of your behavior. There are few people in the world who will be okay with your poor manners, and roommates aren’t going to be one of them. They will not find it cute when you are leaving messes and being obnoxious.

Learn some manners by yourself or deal with your resident assistant or landlord chastising you when your roommates report you because they can’t deal with your bad behavior anymore.