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12 Common College Courtesies You Need To Have As a Roommate 

Jacqueline Flickinger

12 Common College Courtesies You Need To Have As a Roommate 

Illustration by Elliot Burr

Do your dishes

This should be common sense. However, some students just can’t muster up the energy to clean their own plates. No one wants to come home to a pile of empty dishes. Do yourself and your roommates a favor, stack up!

Keep music noise to a minimum.

Without first asking your roommates, blasting loud music through the walls is just plain rude! Be respectful of your fellow classmates, as sometimes studying is crucial for success, well for most of us.

Respect the power nap.

We are all familiar with that 20 minutes in between classes in which we “rest our eyes.” If you come home to a snoozing roommate, let them get their beauty sleep. Odds are they’re refueling for the next task of the day. 

Do not raid the fridge.

As many of us students know, funds are not exactly on tap during college. Make sure before eating anything that is not yours, you ask permission. Food is expensive, and coming home to an empty fridge will not make for a harmonious encounter. 

Remember to FINISH your laundry. 

Yes, it is hard to function as an adult, but when you start step one, you must finish steps two through four. 

 Step 1. Load the washer. 

 Step 2. Empty the washer.

 Step 3. Load the dryer.

 Step 4. Empty the dryer.

And maybe if you’re feeling good, you’ll finish the necessary fifth step: putting away your clothes.  

No random ragers.

Everyone likes to have a good time, but make sure you notify your roommates before inviting over your entire friend group. An undisclosed party is not a fun surprise for the roommate who wakes up early, or make sure you at least extend the invitation.

Pick up the common areas.

There is nothing wrong with living in your own chaotic universe … as long as it stays in the vicinity of your own bedroom. Sharing a common room is much like caring for a pet: You must give it love, attention and clean it when necessary. 

Clean up after your guests.

When you have someone over, the appropriate course of action is to make sure your guest respects your space too. If you invite a house guest who makes a mess, it is your responsibility to take over. Stay in charge. 

Your roommate’s room is not your room.

Make sure you respect your roommate’s space. When it comes to living with people, privacy is a challenging factor. Have a conversation about the boundaries a peer sets for you and swear to them. 

Knocking is crucial.

Remember that sometimes people want to be alone. Before entering a private space, knock to ensure you’re wanted in that area. Unsolicited visits can be disrespectful and disruptive. 

Help each other out!

The little things go a long way. Let us face it. Being a student, and young adult is not easy. The smallest things can brighten your roommate’s day. Whether it is simply folding a blanket or taking out the trash, small things can take a big weight off of your roommates shoulders. 


The best thing you can do as a roommate is keep in touch. Small discrepancies that go unnoticed can lead up to large conflicts. Something as small as turning off the TV makes a huge difference.

In the end, it is all about mutual respect. Remember your peers are only human. Learn to accept and understand your roommates,and absolutely, sweat the little things.

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