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How to Be A Dope Roommate

If you’re not an only child, you probably know what it’s like to share a room with another human. If you are an only child (or just an extremely lucky not-only child), you don’t know how this feels at all. Enter college, where you’re randomly assigned to live with a stranger. 

Admittedly, Harvard works pretty hard to match you with someone with whom they think you’ll get along, so here’s to hoping you didn’t lie in your housing essay. Sometimes, they get it right and you end up with someone fantastic. Other times, not so much. Either way, there are basic rules to having a great living space, so this is how to be a dope roommate:

Communicate.

Your ex complained you never did this and your roommate will too. Set some boundaries—what time do you go to bed? Who gets the single? Are you severely allergic to anything to the point where if I eat it near you, you’ll die and your blood will be on my hands? These are serious questions. And never ever be passive-aggressive (unless your relationship works like that, then you do you, fam). 

Get to know each other.

Hometown, possible concentrations, and number of siblings are major keys (you want to know if you’re rooming with an only child, don’t you? #nojudgement). But here are some more important, practical things: do you shower in the morning or at night? Do you sleep around? Do you have any tests coming up so I know not to bring this month’s bae over? Is calculus a trigger word for you? 

Don’t be disgusting (you). 

Shower regularly. Wear that much-needed deodorant before your roommate buys you one from the 24hr CVS passive-aggressively. Don’t let your space resemble a pigsty. And don’t pick your nose in the common room.

Don’t be disgusting (your food).

Seal your food in tupperware before mice attack your room and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. Throw away the milk before it spoils. And NEVER use the compost bins. Sorry, Earth, but that shit gets gross. 

Ask for permission.

“Hey, can I borrow your blazer?” is 20 times better than “I borrowed your blazer and accidently spilled a Tasty milkshake on it.” “Hey, can I have the room for like an hour?” is 50 times better than your roommate walking in on you and this month’s bae doing the unforgivable.

Don’t expect to be best friends.

You might love your roommate, but don’t forget that you’ll be seeing this person all the time. You might grow to become best friends, but going in determined to be glued at the hip will only make you sick of each other by April. Take it slow, young grasshopper. Start as “peaceful cohabitants” and let it blossom from there.

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Francesca Malatesta,  Editor in Chief
francesca.malatesta@hsa.net
Jessica Luo, Publishing Director
jessica.luo@hsa.net