Are you a bad roommate?


What you shouldn’t do when you’re living with others

During your time at StFX, there’s a high probability that you’ll end up living with at least one roommate, maybe several. Unfortunately, not all roommates are created equal and there are a few bad ones out there. Luckily, you can avoid becoming a lousy roommate yourself by not doing the following things while living with others.

First and foremost, it’s good to avoid being excessively messy. While nobody is perfect and students don’t always have time to clean, there is a big difference between leaving the dishes dirty in the sink for one night and leaving them for a few weeks. Especially regarding common areas like kitchens and bathrooms, it should be expected that everyone using them pitches in to keep them tidy. Nevertheless, menial household chores aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so you might have a roommate that you’ll have to practically force to take the recycling out for a change. Don’t be that roommate. A trip to the curb won’t kill you.

It can also be aggravating to have a roommate that constantly has a bunch of people over. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with inviting a few people over if everyone that lives there is aware and agrees to it. After all, you’re allowed to have friends besides your roommates. However, if there always seems to be strangers showing up to the door, staying for hours and eating all the food, it might be time to have a house meeting regarding having guests over.

Sharing a small space can also become difficult with roommates. Simple little things like taking a few extra minutes in the bathroom, keeping the house temperature either freezing cold or absurdly hot and even being a night owl living with a morning person can quickly snowball into bigger issues. Have you ever woken up to the sound of slamming cupboards or worse, a blender? Not ideal. Not to mention if you’re sharing a room, there’s an increased source for tension. There’s even a possibility that you could walk in on or hear a roommate and their partner having some fun: an image that no one particularly wants to live with regardless of how comfortable you are with each other.

Another issue that comes up often with roommates is stealing or using items they assume are shared. A good roommate should not take any food, clothes, furniture, or other private property without getting permission to take it first. Of course, if you’re living with close friends at some point you might end up sharing clothes or making food together, but it’s usually only after it’s been established that it’s alright to do so. Never just assume that your roommate won’t mind; asking for permission is always better than begging for forgiveness.

Sharing a living space isn’t always ideal with a roommate that exhibits some of the traits above. Those traits are usually universally bad, but sometimes two people just aren’t compatible roommates even without the mannerisms listed above. There are people out there that are fantastic roommates, and living with them will be a dream. Unfortunately, you may have to go through a bunch of bad roommates to find the perfect one for you, but don’t give up hope on finding them.