5 Dorm Tips for First-time Roommates

Keep Quiet

Seems contrary to our last tip, right? Let me explain. While it's important to speak up when you're roommate is bugging you, it's also important to pick your battles. If you're always nagging your roommate about something, they'll tune you out when you have an important concern. So yes, speak up if something really bothers you, but also learn when to let things go.

If you hate your roommate's music, rather than complain every single time he turns it on, put on some headphones. A mountain of dirty underwear that's left to stink for weeks is worth bringing up, while a stray sock on the floor is not. Know what you can and can't live with, and be prepared to let some of the other things slide. After all, your roommate is probably letting some things you're doing slide, too.

And, if you find that living with your roommate is simply unbearable, buck up. It's only one school year.

Author's Note: 5 Dorm Tips for First-time Roommates

Researching this piece brought back a lot of memories for me, and made me realize how many things I did wrong as a roommate. What struck me, however, is how many of these tips make sense for relationships beyond college dorm roommates. Learning to set expectations, speak up and pick your battles are all key skills to have at home and in the workplace. Just ask anyone who's shared a cubicle with a serial tuna-sandwich eater.

Related Articles


  • Burnsed, Brian. "5 Tips for Getting Along with Your Roommate." U.S. News and World Report. Aug. 13, 2010. (July 24, 2012) http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2010/08/13/5-tips-to-getting-along-with-your-roommate?page=2
  • Emily Post Institute. "Getting Along with Roommates." (July 24, 2012) http://www.emilypost.com/home-and-family-life/133/380-getting-along-with-roommates
  • Hartwell-Walker, Marie. "Getting Along with Your College Roommate." PsychCentral.com. (July 24, 2012) http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/getting-along-with-your-college-roommate/
  • Resident Assistant. "Roommate Conflicts." (July 24, 2012) http://www.residentassistant.com/advice/roommate1.htm
  • Studenttools.info. "Roommate Survival 101: Helpful Tips for Getting Along." (July 24, 2012) http://www.studenttools.info/roommate-survival-101-four-helpful-tips-for-getting-along.html


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