No one wants a roommate who steals spoonfuls of Nutella and listens to dubstep at sunrise.
Many students will have the experience of living with another person or group of people at some point in young adulthood. Unfortunately, there isn’t a handbook on how to be a good roommate. There are, however, rules to abide by.
Collegecandy.com posted the article “The Ten Commandments of Being a Good Roommate” in 2012 that outlines the major do’s and don’ts of roommate etiquette.
Based on Collegecandy.com’s commandments, Dixie State University students gave their own versions of ideal roommate behavior.
Thou shall not eat a roommate’s food without permission
There isn’t anything much worse than realizing your roommate ate the last of your cookie dough. Who does this kind of evil? Apparently, many roommates, like Kody Christoffersen’s, a senior criminal justice major from Ogden.
“One of my roommates would always eat and cook my food,” Christoffersen said. “It was so annoying.”
Don’t eat your roommate’s grub. If you’re dying to eat the last of your roommate’s Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, do the right thing and ask first.
Thou shall clean up after thyself
People like roommates who do their dishes. At least that’s what Whitney Petrich, a senior psychology major from St. George, thinks.
“Doing your dishes makes you a good roommate,” Petrich said.
It’s that simple—clean up your mess. If you destroy the kitchen making your mom’s famous enchiladas, do what your mom would do and clean up the aftermath.
Thou shall not hog the bathroom
If you’re staying in the shower till the water runs cold, or if you’re spending hours reading “The Hunger Games” while using the restroom, you’re doing something wrong. Leesa Gustafson, a freshman psychology major from South Jordan, has a brilliant idea for managing bathroom time.
“Put time intervals on the bathroom door,” Gustafson said. “For instance, everyone gets 20 minutes in the restroom, but if you go over your time, your time will get cut in half the next day.”
Be courteous with the amount of time spent in the bathroom. Remember, your roommate likes hot water too.
Thou shall pay bills on time
Many of us are broke college students, but that is no excuse for paying rent and other bills late.
Managing finances is something that takes time, practice and discipline. Most students are in the same broke financial boat. Regardless, paying bills on time is a priority and should not be pawned off on fellow roommates.
“Communicate about everything, especially bills,” said Taylor Folston, a sophomore business major from St. George.
Thou shall not decorate without permission
It’s not fun to come home from work to a Madonna shrine on your living room wall. Many roommates would be open to changing the decor of the space, but they would like to discuss it first, Folston said.
“I am open to change, just as long as it’s not too awkward,” Folston said.
Remember you’re sharing the environment with others. Decorating without consulting a roommate is a bad plan, especially if it has anything to do with Madonna.
Thou shall maintain appropriate noise levels
“I had roommates that would stay up all night studying but often took laughing breaks,” Petrich said. “I would wake up in the middle of the night to hysterical laughing. I ended up only living there for one summer.”
Keep in mind people like their sleep, and if you wake them up with continuous laughing breaks or other noises, you may lose a roommate.
Thou shall not have a significant other over 24/7
When the significant other starts to feel like another roommate, that’s a problem. Make boundaries with significant others and communicate about convenient visiting hours.
Also, deal with couple fights accordingly, said Adam Hales, a junior communication major from Spanish Fork.
“If you’re going to fight with your girlfriend or boyfriend, go outside or go for a walk with them,” Hales said.
Thou shall not be a Debbie-downer
Samuel Jamison, a junior communication major from St. George, said he thinks being a positive person is the key to being a good roommate.
“Be approachable and don’t get upset over little things,” Jamison said. “Don’t get offended easily and be willing to work together.”
Thou shall ask, then borrow
Your roommate’s Dre Beats may look appealing, especially when you’re headed to the gym headphone-less, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to borrow them.
“Certain things my roommates can borrow, and certain things they can’t,” Gustafson said. “If a roommate kept borrowing my things without asking, I would start borrowing their stuff to show them how it feels.”
Thou shall not be passive-aggressive
When living with another you’re bound to hit some bumps in the road, and you must be willing to communicate about those bumps. No one appreciates a Post-it on the bathroom mirror that says things like “Buy your own shampoo,” “Clean the mirror for once,” or “I’ve bought toilet paper the last three months. Your turn!”
Talk about issues as they arise and keep in mind that living with a roommate can be a learning experience, so be patient.
“Tolerance is important,” Gustafson said. “Be tolerant with your roommate’s quirks and try to learn how to accept and live with others.”