Five commandments to being a good roommate


It is one thing to hear your parents complain about your habits, but you don’t realize what you’re doing until your roommate is the one doing it back to you.

Living in a residence hall grants you the opportunity to live and spend most of your college years around people you are meeting for the first time. Sharing bathrooms and communal property with a full floor of people can be aggravating. Yet nothing is quite more uncomfortable than having to deal with someone you’ve never met sharing your own space.

WSU has 21 residence halls—16 coed, three female-only halls, and two male-only halls, according to the WSU website. The university has a roommate compatibility survey to take when applying for housing, which allows you to rank the characteristics of your desired roommate.

Some people may not be as truthful as you are when it comes to the characteristics they prefer, so being prepared to handle situations is a must. In order to keep the peace there are basic rules for what not to do.

Rule number one: Do not disrespect each other’s time.

Sleep is valuable, especially if you are an early riser and your roommate is a late sleeper. Although you have outlined your schedules, it can be difficult to get along when you wake up earlier than needed because of the hassling and moving around. 

On the other hand, nothing can be more troublesome than trying to fall asleep at night with a shining light, papers shuffling, and music playing from your roommate studying.

In order to avoid clashing schedules, discuss them in advance. Additionally, utilize other study areas or resource centers to accommodate your study time.

Rule number two: Do not leave your mess everywhere; cleanliness is next to godliness.

It is one thing to be unorganized and another to be unsanitary. Know the difference.

Residence halls are typically your home for the nine months spent at school. Things tend to pile up faster than you expect. No one wants to stumble over your shoes in the middle of the floor or smell the week-old trash with month-old food inside of it.

You may not be overly spotless, but make an attempt to keep a descent flow of cleanliness around the room.   

Rule number three: Do not touch each other’s property.

If you could do one thing to piss your roommate off, it would be having the audacity to so-called borrow their belongings; whether it is clothing, food or even personal items.

Looking in your mini-fridge to find that your lunch is no longer in there, noticing that your favorite shirt is missing, or coming back to your charger being used by your roommate can make you angry.

This is the common cause of tension between roommates. Unless you have a mutual understanding, using each other’s’ things is not acceptable.

Once the trust is gone from violating your roommate’s property, it will be a long year. 

Rule number four: Limit your friend visits.

Keeping up with one other person is enough of a hassle, so no one wants to deal with extra groups of people in the room.

It is typical to get ready or invite a friend over before attending an event or party. However, while your roommate is trying to relax from a long day it is troublesome when you and your friends are cackling loudly.

Consulting with your roommate about when your friends will come over can prevent disputes.

Rule number five: Do not treat someone the way you wouldn’t want to be treated.

Everyone has learned the golden rule. Treating your roommate as if you are superior in any type of way is a whole new level of disrespect.

Not only is it rude, but it causes tension, arguments, and eventually having to go through the inconvenience of transferring rooms. 

Although setting these ground rules is the first step in a successful stay, following through is the common denominator. 

Chelsea Keyes is a sophomore communication major from Tacoma. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.