By Kaci Yoder
Welcome to the strange world of dorm living. Whether you’re sharing your space with your best friend or a complete stranger, there are some rules that are universal. When in doubt, remember these dos and don’ts.
DO try to befriend your roomie.
Your roommate will probably see you at your worst, your drunkest, and your most naked. Befriending the person who sleeps in the same room as you will make your year less awkward, and who knows? Maybe the universe conspired to assign you to the same room as your new bestie.
DON’T be the clingy roommate.
Sometimes a random roommate just isn’t a good match, or sometimes your BFF needs a little space. If you’re roomie’s just not that into you, take the hint and let them do their own thing. You’ll live, and they won’t have to spend their time outside of class ducking you.
DO clean up after yourself.
This is common courtesy, y’all. Make sure to keep all your clutter out of shared spaces unless your roomie is cool with it, and try to keep your side of the room tidy. These rooms are small, and a little bit of mess quickly becomes a living nightmare.
DON’T clean up after your roommate.
First of all, they need to take responsibility for their own mess, and cleaning up after them sends a message that they don’t have to pick up their crap because you’ll do it for them. Also, it’s generally a bad idea to touch your roomie’s stuff at all.
DO make your space your own.
Dorms can feel a little impersonal, so it’s best to add a few personal touches to really feel at home when you’re away from home. Bonus: shopping for décor with your roomie can be a bonding experience.
Take it from someone who spent freshman year with posters covering every square inch of her dorm room walls—this is an awful idea. When move-out day comes, you’ll be exhausted and brain-dead from finals, and you won’t want to deal with packing all that trash up.
DO be considerate of your roommate when hooking up.
Nothing’s worse than having your study session interrupted by your roommate trying to do a different kind of cramming. Always text your roommate if you planning on bringing a date home, and never kick them out so you can get busy in your bunk. If it absolutely can’t wait, find somewhere else to do it.
DON’T hook up with your roommate.
This one goes out to all those LGBTQ+ kids out there. College is a time of experimentation for many people, but make sure that doesn’t include your roommate. Freshman flings burn out quickly, and you don’t want to be stuck sharing a bedroom with your ex for the rest of the year.