Use this guide to avoid being an annoying roommate

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

There is a beautiful dream: society. A dream that different people are coming together with dignity, mutual warmheartedness and the drive to succeed to create something greater than themselves. Society is a massive effort of cooperation from all people to make ourselves safer, happier and more fulfilled than we ever could be by ourselves.

But then you get home and see laundry all over the couch, mud tracked in the entryway and a kitchen that looks like a bomb has gone off, and that dream starts to sound more like a figment of your imagination.

Here are a few tips to avoid being the source of that stunned moment of disappointment.

Your stuff

Your stuff should be in your room. If a space is for everybody, then don’t go colonizing it with swathes of clothing, books and bric-a-brac. Leaving clothes in the washing machine or dryer, leaving unfolded laundry on a table in the living room and leaving clothes just about anywhere outside your room are no-nos.

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    The corollary to this rule? Being the better man lets you be indignant. Nothing’s more fun than looking down your nose at other people.


    Don’t break stuff. Or lie down on stuff. Or break stuff by lying down on it. Come to think of it, it might not be the best idea to put all your weight on the coffee table that can just barely handle the weight of an overfilled mug.

    On the other hand, it hasn’t ever broken before, so who am I to tell you what to do?

    Your food

    Unless your roommate has accepted your offer to share, your food should not get in the way of theirs. For example, pasta sauce is best served on pasta, rather than on a countertop. Microwaving fish is a fantastic way to be put on the FBI’s most wanted list and the dishes from last week’s dinner should not be in everybody’s sink. Finally, don’t eat other people’s food. That’s mean. Obviously.

    The corollary to this is stolen food is about 10 times more delicious than nonstolen food. So the updated rule is use your discretion when taking other people’s food.

    Your music

    Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor? It says the simplest solution is most likely to be true. The easiest way to deal with a roommate who plays music too loudly is to hate them.

    However, if that music happens to be music that you actually enjoy listening to, then congratulations. You have just met yourself, reincarnated into your next life. Ask him or her what next week’s lotto numbers are.

    Your self-esteem

    Misery loves company, so you need to keep your happiness to yourself. Nobody enjoys having somebody else’s success rubbed in his or her face after having a day full of Oliver Twist-ing.

    The corollary to this is that nothing is more enjoyable after a crummy day than to flex that misery. Flex it well.

    Your social life

    Don’t have one. Problem solved.

    On the other hand, having friends is usually a good thing. It ends up being something of a coin toss. If you insist on having a life, it might be easier to schedule things for when your roommates are out to try to minimize the damage. If you need to host an event while they are home, you can try to keep it down.

    It won’t work, though.

    It might be cheaper to live in a cardboard box, but it’s more comfortable to live in a house or apartment. That option becomes more affordable when you have someone else willing to split the rent. If you follow these tips, you might be able to eke by without getting murdered.

    Or you can finish off the milk. 

    Yoav is a senior in LAS.

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