The Vermont Cynic

Tips and tricks for living with a roommate


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Now that you’ve been living with your roommate for about a month or so, their habits and personal quirks are becoming noticeable – and unless you lucked out with Jesus, those habits don’t include baking you cookies and washing your sheets.

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Here are some common roommate issues, and highly effective ways to solve them.

You have drastically different music tastes:

It can seem impossible to cope when you only listen to country music, and your roommate gets down with hardcore rap.

It’s too much of a hassle to take turns blasting music from the stereo, so why not harmonize instead?

Make a remix of rap and country music blended into one, so you can listen to a compromised version of both genres at once.

Blake Shelton and Kanye West can absolutely go together; you just have to find the right beat.

They’re always eating your food without asking:

Ingredient-reading can’t save them now. Find out what your roommate is allergic to and mix a little bit of that into the cereal and crackers they usually take from you.

Have your cell phone ready to dial 911. It’ll be the last of their food-stealing efforts.

They postpone washing their dishes:

Your roommate’s dishes are constantly stacking up in the corner, no matter how much you bug them to clean them up.

So, throw them out. Throw the dirty dishes directly into the trash bin. Leave them there for your roommate to find when they come home.

Your sleep schedules are opposite:

Your roommate’s a night owl, which you absolutely didn’t sign up for when you filled out your roommate survey.

Decide what time you want to head to bed–say,11p.m.– and purposefully short-circuit your outlets beforehand so your roommate doesn’t have access to lamps and other distracting stimuli.

Just yank out the cords of lights and other appliances while they’re still on – that should do the trick. Prepare a draft of a “Fix It” form for ResLife that you can submit continuously throughout the semester.

They’re incredibly messy:

Your roommate is a slob. Their clothes, food, supplies and other items are always sprawled around the dorm.

You don’t want to be abrasive about it, but it’s obnoxious, because sometimes it spills onto your side.

It’s always safe and encouraged to use “I feel” statements. Leave a soft note on top of a pile of their things. “I feel that you’re a piece of shit when you don’t clean for three weeks” should be okay.

You can always draw a flower in the margins for good measure.

Always try to solve things with your roommate in mature, responsible, one-on-one ways.

There’s never a need to get your RA involved – they’re busy enough without listening to you whine, seriously.

You’re the one who chose random assignment.

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Tips and tricks for living with a roommate