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The Daily Illini

Four tips to becoming the ideal roommate

By Matt Silich, Opinions Editor

Once all the logistical concerns about housing —  where to live, who to room with, when to sign the lease — have subsided, students are faced with an unenviable dilemma: We now have to actually survive these random people we found wandering the streets of Urbana for at least a year.

In the spirit of solving that residential riddle, here are four quick tips for easy living from someone who’s never been wrong in a single roommate conflict ever.

Don’t be afraid to let your music rock

Any student with musical taste as sophisticated as yours should be well-prepared to educate your fellow apartment inhabitants on the finer points of Nickelback’s “Photograph.” If you’ve done your homework and chosen the right roommates, there’s no need to keep the volume to a minimum: Any self-respecting friend of yours should feel honored to hear your “Only ‘90s Kids Will Understand This Playlist” playlist.

On the off chance your roommates aren’t interested in hearing “Closer” on repeat every weekend night from 8 p.m. to midnight, don’t hesitate to break out the acoustic guitar and really show them what for. If they can’t appreciate a classy rendition of “Californication” to help them focus on studying for their exam tomorrow, then maybe they shouldn’t be living with somebody as talented as you anyway.

Leave your food everywhere

A good roommate will always monitor the eating habits of their friends, and you should do your best to accommodate the rest of your apartment in this regard. If you don’t leave out half-eaten plates of your lunch every day, then it’s going to be a heck of a lot more difficult for everyone to track your calories and let you know when things are getting a bit dicey.

A sink full of your dirty dishes is basically a full day’s inventory for your roommates. Most nice roommates will then pay you back for this service by rinsing your dishes and neatly putting them away after a quick dishwasher cycle.

Some will go even further and make playful jokes off this classic interaction. If you hear things like, “Why is it so hard for you to clean up after yourself?” or “You’re an arrogant slob with no respect for us,” then just be sure to meet them with a hearty laugh and smile. Your roommates should know you’re in on the joke, and you appreciate their sarcasm.

Plan a party and don’t tell anyone

I know nothing gets me going quite like coming home to a trashed house with 30 drunk college students splayed across my living room in positions of varying levels of gravitational defiance. Who doesn’t love a nice surprise party?

Worry not, unsure sophomore: There’s no need to seek permission to host if you’re throwing the hottest rager of 2017. And this tip even comes with an added bonus: Your neighbors will have some fascinating noises to listen to deep into the following morning.

Invite your significant other to live with you

Speaking of late-night noises, there’s no better time than the first week of school to invite your significant other to move into your apartment. Ideally, they’ll have a drawer and a toothbrush in place before your laziest roommate even finishes unpacking. This urgency helps establish a hierarchy of power within the apartment that your roommates are sure to appreciate.

In case you get some pushback from roommates concerned about things like “personal space” and “sleeping,” feel free to be a bit more open with your public displays of affection. The goal here is to firmly establish that your significant other matters more than anyone who actually pays to live in this apartment.

Lastly, every roommate gets a good laugh out of coming home to a couple making out on their bed, so keep that in mind in case of emergency.

Once everyone knows their place in the apartment, life just gets so much easier. Be sure to establish your dominance early and often, and let these four tips guide your ideal college roommate experience.

Matt is a senior in Media.

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