Life editor helps with roommate drama

These top five tips ensure you won’t murder your roommate this semester


Life Editor Zach Goff finishes laying out his pages during production on Wednesday in the Evergreen newsroom.

ZACH GOFF, Evergreen reporter

Roommates can be either be the best thing ever or a yearlong nightmare. Regardless, boundaries are essential to maintaining sanity throughout the year. As a former RA, I’ve heard and seen some roommate horror stories.

Clean up after yourself

The most annoying thing is coming home after a long day of school to a bunch of dirty clothes that aren’t yours littering the floor. If you struggle to keep your area clean, make a promise to yourself to not leave for the day until all the laundry is at least in the hamper, or until the dishes are washed. Small gestures can go a long way to make sure your roommate doesn’t take those dirty forks to your chest in your sleep.

If it upsets you, speak up

It may seem obvious, but roommates aren’t mind readers, no matter how close of friends you are. Being honest and explaining why someone leaving their toenails on the kitchen table makes you want to vomit all over that freshly made ramen is crucial to a great relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting your roommate about these things, find your friendly local neighborhood resident adviser. They love nothing better than making your personal problems their own.

Just because you’re a night owl doesn’t mean your roommate is.

If you’re an insomniac and love to watch “Merlin” at full volume at 3 a.m., stop. Put some headphones on, then resume. No one likes to be woken up in the middle of the night. However, if you politely ask your roommate several times to keep it down, you have my full permission to get some payback and wake them at 2 p.m. during their nap time.

If you live in the dorms, make sure the roommate is away before you play. But even if you have separate rooms keep the screaming to a minimum. I don’t care if they are the best person you’ve ever slept with, if your grunts turn into screams, I’m calling the police to make sure the rough sex didn’t get out of hand.

The fridge is not communal by default.

Unless you have talked about it, leave their food alone. You didn’t buy it and just because you’re too lazy to cook doesn’t mean you get to eat all the stuff they purchased.

Even if you do agree to share food or split the bill, you shouldn’t take advantage of it. Respect people’s property and space. That’s what everything boils down to: respect and communication.

If all else fails, move (or pray your roommates move out).

After all these tips if you both are still at each other throats, pack your bags. Sometimes people just aren’t meant to live with each other. Save the friendship and start finding a new place to live.