3 Ways to Be a Good Roommate

3 Ways to Be a Good Roommate

There are three simple ways to be a good roommate. For most, the prospect of sharing an accommodation with any number of roommates is daunting, to say the least. There are no  ready references on what it takes to cohabitate harmoniously. The years I spent at home, living with my family were invaluable in garnering a method of living that was enjoyable, easygoing and routine. Never did I feel that I was being imposed upon, even when my mom posted a list on the refrigerator door that proclaimed “Twelve Steps to Happiness in the Colberg Household.” I am going to share these steps in a roundabout way. These twelve steps, while very concise, translate into the three main attributes of being a good roommate. These are communication, cleanliness and empathy.


3 Ways to Become a Good RoommateCommunication

Firstly, I have found  communication is key to compatibility. No matter what the personal dynamics, situations arise which require immediate resolution and spontaneous communication.  One cannot always be prepared for circumstances that alter routine, upset balance, and often drive life toward the tipping point. I have found by speaking evenly and thoughtfully, and to be neither longwinded nor vague, allows those around me to know my feelings, expectations and opinions on important issues of cohabitation. Issues such as division of household chores, waking and sleeping hours, storage parameters and a general need for harmony, can all be dealt with through thoughtful dialogue.

“Communication is the key to compatibility.”

3 Ways to Become a Good Roommate

Next on my hierarchy of importance in the roommate universe is cleanliness. I always
wash my dishes after use. I also have my bedroom shipshape. If I feel I am doing more than my share in terms of keeping our place clean, I mention it to my roommates nicely and they seem to respond by picking up on my example. I am never averse to picking up a dirty dish, straightening the pillows on the couch, or tidying up the entryway. But I stay vigilant as to what may trigger a bigger problem, should a situation go unchecked for too long.




3 Ways to Become a Good Roommate

Always wanting to know how I can become a better roommate leads me to check in with the other girls frequently. I see if they are alright, need a favour, or just somebody to chat with. By showing empathy and relating to their past and present situation, grants a deeper appreciation for each other. We all realize we are in this together to a great extent. To this end I try to be attentive, but not overbearing. It has served me well over the past three years. I appreciate having somebody there for me as well.



“Newfound friends were unbelievably strangers just a short time ago.”

Living with people whom you may not know comes with challenges. In many cases I must remember my mom’s “list.” To get the maximum benefit, with the least headaches and most serenity during university, I’ve adopted these particular steps. I have never publicly proclaimed them, but rather try to exude these personal qualities in all of my interactions with my roommates. Hopefully, by doing so, university life, with my roommates will not be just tolerable, but also lots of fun. By paying attention to what is important to others, and myself, I have developed a keen sense as to what it takes to exist happily with friends. These newfound friends were unbelievably strangers just a short time ago.


“By accepting that I am as different to other people as they are to me, has led to reaching common ground by being able to empathize and communicate with others.”


Knowing that nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to university life is important to remember. I must enjoy the short time I have as it will soon pass. Overall, by accepting that I am as different to other people as they are to me, has led to reaching common ground by being able to empathize and communicate with others. This process of continuous communication, cleanliness and empathy has, and continues to be, a recipe for success in becoming a great roommate.

By: HCM Lifestyle’s Madison Colberg

Reach Out to Us

HCM Lifestyle is shares inspiring ideas and stories to ‘Help Us All Become A Better Version of Ourselves.’ We wanted to share these reflective and helpful thoughts with you. Whether you have roommates, family or live on your own- we can all do our best to be the most compatible companion both in and out of the home. Share what you think makes for a good roommate with HCM Lifestyle. Email hcmlifestyle@gmail.com

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