Steps for Living Comfortably With a Roommate

By Rene Santana on August 29, 2019

Disclaimer: I was a messy roommate. I look back and think about it sometimes. My cheeks go red from embarrassment. I also didn’t talk much and made awkward small talk. I have no idea how I made friends, and I wonder how I even managed to room with my best friend. But I did it, and my goodness, do I wish I could try again. But since time travel isn’t a thing yet, I’ll give my hindsight on what I could’ve done to be a better roommate. I admit I did have some fun moments, but I don’t want others to miss out on a chance to make a friend or just improve their social skills.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay


First thing, clean up after yourself. This one is hard. You have assignments to finish, friends to hang out with, events to attend, plus you still have to find time to feed yourself. And also, we keep telling ourselves that a messy room is a sign of a creative mind. While that may have a speck of truth, it’s no excuse to let your side of the room look inhabitable. I wasn’t organized at all, and it showed. And while I managed to get along with my roommates, I wasn’t at all considerate about not picking up after myself. Since this one can be doozie, I recommend checking out Ashely Paskill’s tips on organizing your apartment.

Meal sharing

Does your roommate like coffee? Hot wings? Greek food? Food is the best way to start a relationship, even if it’s just bringing an extra drink to your roommate when at the store. I know money is tight, and you’re trying to budget ways to make your dollar stretch miles, but how else can you easily show you care than to split a coffee or meal with someone? It doesn’t have to be every day, week, or month, but if it’s once a while, it still goes a long way. And while this is common knowledge, free food is the best way into college student’s heart.

Two-Way Communication

It can be weird if you’re just relaxing on the couch, playing a video game, have blankets, chips, and a pizza box scattered and your roommate comes in with his or her date. You don’t mean to be rude or look improper, but you sincerely thought you had the place to yourself for the night. When this happens once or twice, it’s no big deal, but it also doesn’t make living together comfortable. Learn to communicate with your roommate when you plan to bring friends over, or who they think they’ll be bringing often.


“Hi!” “Hello!” “How was your day?” “Got any fun plans this weekend?” “I’m going to class, wanna walk together?” “Do you see what I’m trying to get at here?” A simple hand wave and a greeting are all you need to make your roommate feel at home. You may not have deep discussions at four in the morning but you will end up feeling comfortable knowing your roommate a little more each day. We all have something in common, it just takes some digging to find it. Who knows, you may strike gold with your roommate and you’ll be best buds. If not, don’t sweat it, just keep being open to conversation, you might be surprised what you’ll learn.

Offer Help

And the best thing you can do is ask what you can do for them. Do they need a friend to load off on? Perhaps someone to go to a party with. Even being the third wheel on a date! Just ask them, and if they don’t need help, then it’s all you can do. But don’t ask once and be done. Be attentive to them and listen to when it sounds like they may need help. We all need to help from a friend at some point.

College is challenging as it is, so instead of adding another stressful component to it try making yourself comfortable with your roommate. It will probably be awkward at first, but then again, everything will be awkward during your years in college. Welcome to college.

CWU Graduate | Writer | Editor @WaldorfPress | Favors Tech, UX, and the Serial Comma.

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