10 Tips for Getting Along With Your College Roommate

9. Focus on behavior, not personality. Your roommate is going to annoy you, this is a given. Even if you’re lucky and the two of you hit it off and become best friends forever, she’s still going to annoy you from time to time. Maybe she’s a slob or a talks on her phone all the time or she spends an entire Saturday watching “Jersey Shore” marathons. You should definitely be assertive and talk to her about these issues, but instead of framing the issues as defining personality quirks (i.e. “You’re a slob!” or “You have terrible taste in TV,”), focus on the behavior, how it affects you, and present a polite request to modify said behavior (i.e. “You’ve been leaving your dirty laundry in piles on the floor lately and since we have to share such limited space, it’s been making me a little anxious. Would you mind putting your laundry in the hamper in the corner?”). And if the thought of being assertive fills your with dread, soften the request with a peace offering like… some Chinese takeout. I’m telling you: greasy rice and a side of egg rolls does wonders for roommate relations. 10. Buy shower shoes. OK, so this one isn’t so much about getting along with your roommate, but it bears mentioning and repeating for anyone heading off to college. Those dorm bathrooms are pretty nasty and investing in a few cheap pairs of flip flops that you wear only in the shower may just be the best 20 bucks you spend all year. If you enjoyed these tips make sure you spread the word by sharing, also don’t forget to check out our other life saving college tips.


Wendy Atterberry runs the relationship advice website, DearWendy, which she launched in January, 2011. Her column has been featured or mentioned on CNN.com, the Washington Post, the Today Show, Glamour.com, and NPR, among others. If you have a relationship/dating question she can help answer, you can send her your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com. You can follow Wendy on Facebook here.

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College Tips, Dorms