College Guide to Roommate Etiquette


We've all heard the crazy (and sometimes traumatic) roommate stories that give us nightmares. One UCLA student's story made headlines for being one of the worst roommate experiences ever. Before school even began, Guistinna Tun’s prospective roommate sent an email to Guistinna and her third roommate demanding to have the top bunk and window desk. Let’s cross our fingers it never happens to us. To avoid roommate disaster stories like this, here are a few tips on  roommate etiquette. 

1. Use Your Headphones!

Yes, we know how much you love your boyfriend and what a cutie patootie he is, but your roommate doesn't need the details. Please do us all a favor, and use your headphones. The same goes for listening to music or watching Netflix - especially during homework hours.  

2. Share Your Brita because it’s Betta!

If you didn’t miss the scent of grandma’s chocolate-chip cookies most, you’ll likely find that you miss filtered water. You’ll be even more grateful for this Brita filter when you discover that you’ll be living on the eighth floor.

3. Be a Considerate Early Bird

Most students opt for noon-time classes, but if you have an early bird schedule, be sure to be mindful of your roommates who may still be sleeping.

4. Open Doors Make Happy Floors

The first few weeks of college are a prime time to meet other nervous freshmen living in your dorm - perhaps you’ll even come to find that your floor-mates are the best friends you ever made in college. Feel free to leave your door open in the afternoon or at night to make friends and get to know some of the people that you will be sharing a floor with for the next year.

5. Take Turns Playing Maid

Most dorms will require you to take out your own trash. Be proactive - clean up your own mess, keep your space tidy, and empty the trash away when full. You and your roommates  can even create a cleaning schedule to keep things fair.

College is a time where you run into many different personalities. By implementing these rules, you and your roommates can learn to coexist without half of the drama that the UCLA students encountered. 

Good luck to all incoming freshmen!

TEEN REPORTER | Kim Do is an avid blogger and world traveler, based in San Jose, California. The 18 year-old has a passion for both writing and conservation and is often found jotting thoughts in her notebook or volunteering at a local park. The UC Berkeley freshman documents her fun, spontaneous adventures on her blog, where she details her journey towards crossing the 200 items off her bucket list as well as travel destinations. In addition to writing, she enjoys hiking, playing guitar, volunteering in the community, and hopes to write for the Daily Californian.