Search Box Here
LIFE CAT COLUMN
CollegeWallet Theft at College — What I LearnedSchool is about learning — and in this article, I'll share what I learned after having my wallet stolen!5 Residence Hall Theft TipsTheft is a crime of opportunity. By leaving your dorm room doors and windows unlocked, a thief have the chance to steal anything!Dorm Fire Safety TipsThere are over 2,000 residence hall fires each year, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Here are five fire safety tips to help you get started on playing it safe.College Student's Emergency Information SheetPost the following information on a bulletin board, by the phone or another handy place in your dorm room/apartment. Make sure your roommates know about this sheet and its location in case of an emergency.Questions to Ask When Choosing a CollegeAnswering these questions may help you start thinking about the kind of school you'd like to attend. This is just a "starter list" — add or delete questions.Did I Make the Right Choice?After freshman year, the expectation is for people to be completely settled in at their school with the best group of friends ever and to know exactly what degree they will graduate with. For many college students, this is not the case.Visiting a College Questions to AskHere is a "starter list" of questions to ask when you visit or talk with a college. Feel free to omit or add questions of your own to the list.Narrowing Your College ChoicesHere are a few tips on how to narrow down from the 1,300 colleges & universities to a few schools that might be right for you.Surviving the End of the SemesterFinals tend to be a stressful time for most students, but there are ways to relax during finals and still do well on them!The College Roommate ExperienceCollege is a chance to meet new people — and one of them will probably be your new roommate.A Parent's Guide to the College Send-offWe've spoken to parents about how they dealt with sending their kids off for their first year of college. Here are their top tips:The College ApartmentDorm Starter ListIf you're heading to college for the first time, there's a lot to bring. Here's the "Essentials" list (not in any particular order) from freshmen and parents who've done this before.College Money TipsSave money while at college with these quick budget-friendly tips!Exploring Your College TownGet to know your new "home" with these tips!How to Be Safe and Smart When Studying AbroadHere are some basic travel tips on how students can make their time abroad as memorable and stress-free as possible!Surviving the First Month of CollegeWritten by a recent grad, here are the top 10 things you'll need to know to prepare for your first month of college.Top 10 Tips for Living with RoommatesFelix and Oscar. Joey and Chandler. Bert and Ernie. Sometimes roommate pairings are a match made in heaven; other times, they're a major disaster. Here are our top ten tips to help you communicate (and peacefully coexist) with your college roommate.
LIFE AD SPACE

Top 10 Tips for Living with Roommates

Felix and Oscar. Joey and Chandler. Bert and Ernie. Sometimes roommate pairings are a match made in heaven; other times, they're a major disaster. Here are our top ten tips to help you communicate (and peacefully coexist) with your college roommate.

1. Be honest about your likes and dislikes from the beginning.

Many colleges send out roommate questionnaires before the beginning of the school year; take this opportunity to outline the qualities that you'd like in a living partner.

If you like to be in bed by 10 pm, you'll probably become frustrated by a roommate who consistently stays up until 3 in the morning.

If you can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke, you may want to live with a nonsmoker.

2. Be prepared to address any roommate issues immediately before they have a chance to become bigger problems.

For example, if your roommate puts in a heavy metal CD while you're studying, politely explain that you prefer to study in silence, and brainstorm a compromise. The earlier you and your roommate discuss what you both expect from each other, the easier your transition into living together will be.

3. Outline basic room safety guidelines.

If your dormitory or apartment building prohibits specific items (candles, space heaters, alcoholic beverages, etc.), take these guidelines into account when decorating your living space.

WHN Tip: Lock Your Door!
For the sake of each other's safety, always lock your door when you leave your room, even if you plan to be gone only for five minutes. Read our article Five Residence Hall Theft Tips [WHN NEW LINK] for more tips on safety.

4. Establish a general cleaning plan.

Even if your idea of sweeping is a road series between the Cubs and the Yankees, you'll need to take responsibility for the cleanliness of your personal space.

Ask what level of cleanliness your roommate prefers and decide how often you'll clean the room. Will you designate a weekly "cleaning day" or just pick up messes as they occur? Who's responsible for each chore?

Will belongings stay on each roommate's side of the space or will there be a shared space where some items can "mingle"?

WHN TIP: Chore Check List
It may help to post a written schedule on your bulletin board or refrigerator of weekly room chores and have each person check off their tasks when completed.

5. Mention your sleeping habits.

When would each of you ideally like to go to bed on weeknights? Weekends?

When do you need to wake up to get to class?

Can you sleep with music playing, or with the lights on?

Are you a light or heavy sleeper?

If your roommate wants to go to bed early, is it okay for you to stay in the room?

What happens when one of you stays out much later than the other?

WHN Tip: Respect for bedtime
Discuss compromises for times when your bedtime isn't compatible with your roommate's. Do late-night studying in the library, a lounge area, or a friend's room if your roommate is an early-to-bed type.

WHN Tip: Respect for Others
If you return while your roommate's asleep, use a cell phone screen or flashlight to find your pajamas, instead of turning on overhead lights and waking up your roommate. If you're an early riser, lay out your clothes for early-morning classes, and don't use your hair dryer in the room if your roommate plans on sleeping until 10.

6. Talk about your study habits.

Do you want to complete the bulk of your schoolwork in your room, or would you rather study in the library and use the room to socialize?

If you choose to study in your room, what noise level do you prefer (silence, music, TV)?

WHN Tip: Scheduling
Let your roommate know in advance if you have an important test or project coming up. (Example: "I have a huge midterm on Friday, so I'd rather not have any guests over on Thursday night, if that's all right with you.")

7. Discuss message-taking and other telephone etiquette.

If you and your roommate share a voicemail box or answering machine, decide what will happen if someone calls when your roommate isn't there.

If your roommate's parents call on a Friday night and ask where she is, should you provide them with her plans for the evening?

If an acquaintance calls and asks for your roommate's cell phone number, do you have your roommate's permission to give that number out?

WHN Tip: Roomie Communication
Post a dry-erase board outside your door so that you, your roommate and your friends can leave messages for each other. Use your discretion regarding the details of your messages—your roommate may not want your entire floor to know that she owes one hundred and sixty-four dollars in library fees.

8. Discuss what will happen when one of you has visitors. A few questions to ask:

How late should visitors be able to stay?

Can visitors come over on school nights?

Can one roommate have guests over if the other one is sleeping, studying, etc.?

Can visitors stay overnight or over the weekend? If so, where will they sleep?

Are there certain times when one of you would prefer not to have visitors?

WHN Tip: *E-hem* - What's the Signal??
It's especially important to discuss visitors of the opposite sex. If your roommate has a boyfriend or girlfriend, ask about expectations regarding privacy. You may want to set up a "signal" to indicate when a member of the opposite sex is visiting (a hanger on the doorknob, a brief note, etc).

WHN Tip: Roomie Communication - Part Two
If you have a significant other, be courteous; no one wants to be shut out of their living space for an entire evening. If you want to have your room to yourself, ask your roommate first, and be clear about the date and time. (Example: "My boyfriend wants to come over between 7 and 9 pm tonight. Would you mind studying in the library during that time, or should I invite him over another night?" )

9. Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

How do you feel about having your roommate borrow your food? Clothes? CDs?

Can your roommate borrow your car or computer in an emergency situation?

A general guideline is to always ask before borrowing anything from a roommate.

WHN Tip: Claim Your Food!
If you have food items that you want to save for yourself, write your name or initials on the packaging to indicate that it belongs to you.

WHN Tip: The "Thank You" Wash...
If you borrow an item of clothing from your roommate, it's a nice gesture to wash the item before returning it. (Make sure that the item is washable first and read the care label!)

10. Keep the lines of communication open.

Good roommate relationships require frequent communication. If you have a question about something that your roommate is doing, ask!

The best way to ensure that your roommate knows what you're thinking is to talk about it.

Other Life Pages
College5 Residence Hall Theft Tips

Bicycle TheftTheft is a crime of opportunity. By leaving your dorm room doors and windows unlocked, a thief have the chance to steal anything!

 Read More
A Parent's Guide to the College Send-off

We've spoken to parents about how they dealt with sending their kids off for their first year of college. Here are their top tips:

 Read More
College Money Tips

Save money while at college with these quick budget-friendly tips!

 Read More
College Student's Emergency Information Sheet

Post the following information on a bulletin board, by the phone or another handy place in your dorm room/apartment. Make sure your roommates know about this sheet and its location in case of an emergency.

 Read More
Did I Make the Right Choice?

After freshman year, the expectation is for people to be completely settled in at their school with the best group of friends ever and to know exactly what degree they will graduate with. For many college students, this is not the case.

 Read More
Dorm Fire Safety Tips

There are over 2,000 residence hall fires each year, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Here are five fire safety tips to help you get started on playing it safe.

 Read More
Exploring Your College Town

Get to know your new "home" with these tips!

 Read More
How to Be Safe and Smart When Studying Abroad

Here are some basic travel tips on how students can make their time abroad as memorable and stress-free as possible!

 Read More
Narrowing Your College Choices

Here are a few tips on how to narrow down from the 1,300 colleges & universities to a few schools that might be right for you.

 Read More
Questions to Ask When Choosing a College

Answering these questions may help you start thinking about the kind of school you'd like to attend. This is just a "starter list" — add or delete questions.

 Read More
Surviving the End of the Semester

Finals tend to be a stressful time for most students, but there are ways to relax during finals and still do well on them!

 Read More
Surviving the First Month of College

Written by a recent grad, here are the top 10 things you'll need to know to prepare for your first month of college.

 Read More
The College ApartmentDorm Starter List

If you're heading to college for the first time, there's a lot to bring. Here's the "Essentials" list (not in any particular order) from freshmen and parents who've done this before.

 Read More
The College Roommate Experience

College is a chance to meet new people — and one of them will probably be your new roommate.

 Read More
Top 10 Tips for Living with Roommates

Felix and Oscar. Joey and Chandler. Bert and Ernie. Sometimes roommate pairings are a match made in heaven; other times, they're a major disaster. Here are our top ten tips to help you communicate (and peacefully coexist) with your college roommate.

 Read More
Visiting a College Questions to Ask

Here is a "starter list" of questions to ask when you visit or talk with a college. Feel free to omit or add questions of your own to the list.

 Read More
Wallet Theft at College — What I Learned

School is about learning — and in this article, I'll share what I learned after having my wallet stolen!

 Read More