The two of us have been roommates for four years (including a semester in Budapest) and so as our time on the Hill comes to an end we’ve come up with a few tips that made the past four years together not only bearable but amazing.
1. Forget about the little things. Roommates tend to let little, minor details and annoyances get on their nerves when they don’t have to. If something is really bothering you, let them know in a polite way, and they’ll make note of it. They’ll probably let you know of something you do that bothers them, too.
2. Be considerate (obviously). If you know you can’t sleep with the light or music on, for instance, assume your roommate can’t either. Always ask them if they mind you doing something before you do it. It shows them you care, and then they’ll do the same.
3. Try to get to know them. Some of the best friendships come from roommates. It makes things a lot less awkward if you more than just their first name. You don’t have to be best friends, but try to make conversation sometimes.
4. Include them. You don’t have to be joined at the hip, but offering invitations makes your roomate feel appreciated and can lead you on some pretty awesome adventures— and the shared room means you can reminisce about it afterwards.
5. Use downtime/nighttime as bonding time. It might only be this way for girls, but when you’re both laying in bed at night, treat it as a sleepover; meaning, exchange stories, laugh, gossip, etc. I know some of the best moments and conversations I had with my roommate were at night when we were supposed to be sleeping.
6. Respect their privacy. Even if you don’t always get along, gossiping about your roomate or sharing intimate details about their life that you are privy to is unacceptable. You should be each other’s allies and remember that there are things about yourself that are better left between the two of you.
7. Offer your help. Whether it’s cleaning, redecorating, carrying something heavy, schoolwork, etc., help out your roommate out if they need it. Sometimes they won’t ask, so offer it yourself and see what they say. Because no matter how busy we get, supporting each other is vital if we’re going to make it through.
8. Don’t ignore them; acknowledge them. Show them you are aware of your “special bond” that comes with being roommates. Say hi to them, smile, stop for a chat when you see them outside your room. If you bring friends over, introduce your roommate and your friends to each other. If they do something awesome, like win an award or perform in a show, congratulate them. Go watch their games, presentations, or performances. Let them know you noticed. I love being able to say, “That’s my roommie!” when she does something great.