How to be the World's Worst Roommate

Living closely with with a roommate can be stressful. Here are 5 ways to get them to hate your guts

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  • By Danny Murphy
  • Roommates
  • Posted June 09, 2017

Being a terrible roommate is easy, but often times we are surprised to hear how much our roommates despise us. Sure, we aren't always best buds with our roommates, and who doesn't get a little annoyed with the other person sharing what could be a space so small we bump heads when we both lean back in our desk chairs, right? These may be true, but here are some of the most common ways you may be pushing your roommate to the edge of a meltdown:

1. Your stuff is…..everywhere

Ok, so most dorm rooms and suites usually look like a bomb went off. But is your stuff responsible for the bulk of the mess? Even if your roommate is neat freak, they will generally tolerate your mess as long as it stays contained to your side. The solution is easy: Keep your stuff on your side. On the other hand, if you’re the neat freak and your roommate is the slob, it’s easy to 

2. Touch the other person’s stuff without permission

Personal space is at a minimum in most college dorms, so most of us place a high premium on it, and despite how much we may love the person we are living with, we generally don't want anyone going through our things. It may be tempting and seem like no big deal to say, put their textbook shelf into alphabetical order, go into their desk drawer for a pack of gum, or arrange the mess on their desk more neatly, but resist the urge. Respect their privacy and the way they want to keep things on their side. 

3. Eat their food

This is a big one. So you both talked before the semester and decided to get a mini fridge (or maybe you're among the lucky few with a room that already has a refrigerator), and soon it is stocked up with both of your favorite food and drinks. Even if the fridge is shared, the food inside, unless explicitly stated, is not. Imagine you’ve had a rough day in class, but you’ve got a container of your mom’s amazing macaroni and cheese back in the room that you've been looking forward to, but when you get there, its…..empty! You’d probably be ready to kill the person who ate it with the empty container. Don’t be that person. Oh and also, even if you are the one who brought the fridge, it doesn't give you the right to eat everything in it. If you offered it up to your roommate to use, then be respectful. 

4. Overuse shared items

Another common source of friction among many roomates…the appliance hog. He brought the TV and you brought the XBox, but you are constantly on it. Maybe you think he doesn't want to play, or doesn't like video games or TV, but still, have the courtesy to make sure you monopolizing the time on any shred item meant for both of your use. Maybe it really doesn't matter to them that you play Call of Duty all day long, but it doesn't hurt to ask every once in a while.

5. Get Down with them in the room

This last one can get awkward….

We all have needs, and we all have various ways of satisfying them. But try to recognize that there is someone else who lives extremely close to you. While you may want an audience for certain “events”, your roommate may not want to be that person. And as I can tell you from personal experience…headphones only block out so much. So if your roommate is in the room, try and be a little discrete. Even better, come up with some kind of signal so they can take a convenient walk down to the vending machine to give you a little couples time (or “me” time). A sock on the door, or some other pre-arranged signal could work too.

The main takeaway: Be courteous!

All the things above are easy to avoid if you think about the other person and try to be as respectful to them as possible. Try to remember that not everyone thinks of things the same way you do, and be a bit conservative in your expectations. Also, communication is a key, and having an honest conversation with your roommate at the start of the school year about boundaries and what is acceptable will go a long way to making sure roomie drama is not something you need to deal with.


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