How to Avoid Annoying Your Roommates

During college, I had all sorts of roommates: ones who became my best friends, partiers, slobs, a drama queen, and rich snobs. I respected them all, even when they didn't reciprocate. I'll explain what I wish they'd done to avoid annoying me as a way to help you and your roommates get along.

Acknowledge Your Roommates' Presence

You don't have to like your roommates. But it's polite to acknowledge their presence by greeting them at least once per day. A simple "Hey" should suffice.

Ignoring them and not responding when they ask you something is not okay. When I lived with roommates who ignored me my first year of college, I was extremely lonely and uncomfortable around them.

Allow Them to Sleep

Even if you snore, you can still help your roommate sleep a few hours each night. Respect their bedtime by turning down the volume and the lights. If your bedroom or bathroom door squeaks, oil the hinges.

Finally, stop using the snooze button. Your roommate doesn't want to be awoken four times by your alarm if his or her first class isn't until noon.

Help Keep the Place Clean

I'm not saying you have to become Cinderella or a maid. However, don't force your roommates to do all the cleaning, especially if you're messy. If you don't know how to mop a floor or clean a shower, learn from your parents, or YouTube, if you must. Remember that a clean environment can help you stay healthy.

Learn Their Pet Peeves

During my second year of college, I started asking new roommates if they had any pet peeves. I hum a lot, and I didn't want that to annoy anyone. I think asking roommates what bugs them is a good idea because then you can try to avoid doing that. Also, it's a nice way to show you respect their preferences.

Last Resorts

So what if, despite your efforts, you don't get along? The problem might be with them, not with you. Meet with them to try figuring out the problem and a solution. Be willing to compromise.

If that doesn't work, see your RA (resident assistant). He or she can help with roommate issues.

I cannot guarantee things will work out, but you won't have to live with the annoying roommates forever. No matter what, do your best to respect them. Perhaps with time, they'll try to reciprocate.


Photo: imagerymajestic,

Darla Word

About Darla Word

I'm a writing tutor and editor from Michigan. My favorite subject to write about is writing because making better writers is my calling. I also enjoy reading, singing, swimming, and cardmaking.

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