Five simple ways to be the best roommate

By Julie Kang, Contributing Writer

Roommates are a big part of college and can make or break your year. Rooming with another person — whether it be a stranger or friend — can be an uncomfortable experience at first. You may both have different personalities, but still need to get along. Here are five ways to be a better roommate.

Lights off, lamp on

One college essential that is useful for becoming a respectful roommate is a desk lamp. If your roommate sleeps earlier than you, offer to turn the lights off and use your desk lamp to study instead. It may not be ideal, but sleep is important for everyone. Studying with only a light on can even make it easier to concentrate. If this doesn’t suit you, try finding a different study space like the library or your dorm lobby. If you sleep earlier than your roommate, suggest the idea and adjust to sleeping with a lamp light on.

Sharing is caring

Not everyone likes to share their personal belongings, but one thing most college students can agree on is that we are usually hungry. If you go grocery shopping or receive a care package, consider sharing the bag of chips or cup of noodles with your roommate. Once you start sharing your food, your roommate might do the same and you will get your fair share of snacks.

Help each other wake up

If you are already awake, wake your roommate up before you head out to classes in the morning or call them before their morning class if they are still asleep. Many college students are notorious for sleeping through classes despite setting multiple alarms. Your roommate will appreciate an extra reminder that they have to be awake in 30 minutes. Waking somebody up can be an awkward task, but it’s worth the discomfort because class attendance is important.

Introduce your friends to your roommate

This also sounds awkward, but college is all about networking and socializing. Especially as a freshman, any opportunity to meet new people is welcome, and one of the easiest ways to do this is through your roommate. Introduce old or new friends to your roommate and invite them to hang out. Having mutual friends is convenient, and this will give you a chance to become closer to your roommate.

Surprise your roommate with a birthday celebration

The celebration doesn’t have to be extravagant. Something as simple as hanging a birthday banner, blowing up a couple of balloons and buying a small $10 gift can make anybody’s day. Being away from family and childhood friends on your birthday can be lonely, so making your roommate feel appreciated on this special day can make a difference.

It’s important to be comfortable with your roommate because nobody wants to be a guest in their own room. Coming home and  having someone to talk to late at night or after a stressful class can make a bad day a little better.

The smallest actions can bring you closer together, so enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience and become the best roommate you can be.

Julie is freshman in Media.

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