5 not so obvious rules that you might not know if you’ve never had a roommate before
Rule #1 Unless your roommate gave express permission, do not take out someone else’s clothing out of the washer. Do not put their clothing in the dryer or else you may accidentally shrink someone’s favourite sweater. This goes for both the residence laundry room and a shared washer in a rented suite or apartment. If you urgently need to do laundry, call and ask or hand wash that one shirt you want to wear on your date.
Rule #2 Pay your fair share. Contribute fairly if your roommates are buying toilet paper, hand soap, cleaning supplies, etc. Same goes for utility bills. You may feel that it’s unfair for you to contribute equally to the electric bill as your roommate who is constantly watching the TV, using the dryer and leaving the lights on while you air dry your clothing and tiptoe in the darkness. Just pay. (Then subtly educate your roommate on being more friendly to the environment. )
Rule #3 Not everyone is okay with you walking around naked all day. Even though all your brothers lived in boxers, different people have different comfort levels when it comes to clothing at home. Set guidelines with your roommates. If someone is uncomfortable with seeing too much of you, respect that and your roommates may set a rule that clothing on the lower body is mandatory in the common areas (kitchen, living room, etc). If you’ll living in the same one room dorm, seasoned room sharers would prefer that you don’t waste valuable bathroom time but if you just met yesterday on move-in day, ask your roommates if they are okay with you stripping down in the room or if they prefers that you all change inside the bathroom. However, you absolutely do not have the right to regulate what your roommates wears in their separate bedrooms or to sleep. As much as you want to tear up their puke green flannel, respect others’ right to choice. Remember that you’re not their mother.
Rule #4 Preen outside of the bathroom, especially in the mornings before class or when everyone’s getting ready to go out for the evening. Get yourself a little mirror and put on makeup, curl your hair, check your outfit for the 28th time with it. Guys, hair gel, side burn grooming and practicing suave eyebrow waggles can be done out of the bathroom. Be efficient in the bathroom so that your roommates don’t need to wait too long to use the toilet. If you’re pressed for time and your roommate is not coming out of the bathroom, you can use the kitchen sink to brush your teeth and wash your face. Just clean up well after you’re done.
Rule #5 Even if you all agreed that eating each others’ snacks and leftover food is okay, avoid eating special food sent by family or other loved ones if your roommate didn’t offer to share. Giant bag of chips from Costco: probably ok. Mom’s beef stew that combats your roommate’s homesickness: don’t touch. Cute panda shaped cookies from the boyfriend or girlfriend: don’t touch. This also applies to other items such as clothing. Do not steal the shirt your roommate’s boyfriend gave her to add to your outfit. That’s rude… and weird.