Roommate Etiquette


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

In college, there are some aspects which seem almost universal. The key number of those would be: Thirsty Thursday, General Education classes, and of course, hearing about or experiencing a bad roommate. Bad roommates are almost like an 8:10 a.m. class. There is always the dread of them until you finally have one and then there is a whole semester or even a year of putting up with it. However, often enough because people know and understand the dread of having a bad roommate they try their best not to be the bad roommate. That being said, students at Southern offered their own experiences and “Roommate etiquette” to avoid being that bad roommate.

Though not experiencing the typical “bad roommate,” sophomore Carolynn Keale talked about what she does to be the best roommate she can be. For Keale, what it boils down to is a continuous communication between her and her roommate, because with the communication, anything can be talked out.

“I would just say communication is key,” said Keale. “No one is perfect, I am by no means a perfect roommate, but I try my best to respect common spaces and keep my roommates posted about what I am doing and how I feel. A problem can’t be fixed unless you address it so you need to be able to talk things out.”

This experience is similar to that of Sebastian Genovese, junior, who lived in the North Campus Townhouses.

“What I did to be a good roommate was do my part. I kept my area clean, didn’t touch anyone else’s stuff, and I was just friendly to my roommates,” said Genovese. “If you want to be a bad roommate, do the opposite of that. A bad roommate is someone who leaves their trash everywhere, their unmentionables, takes people’s stuff without mention, and generally is just rude; don’t be a bad roommate.”

Whereas both Genovese and Keale had their own learning experiences from their roommates, and how they learned to handle the situations that come up, freshman Alex Govus, for the first few weeks of his semester, did not have a roommate. Govus, who lives in West Campus Residential housing, spent the first few weeks of his freshman year without a roommate, so not only was there the change from home-life to campus life, but he had to transition to being on his own to having a roommate.

“Living without a roommate for the first few weeks of the semester was awesome,” said Govus. “However, having a roommate since then has proved to be helpful. It’s just nice to be able to share the same experiences with someone and I think as a freshman that helped us both out. I think that level of sharing is what helps.”

Often stories of bad roommates will detail in stealing food, having their significant other visiting late into the night nearly every day, or even just not washing their own sheets. Whatever the story is, students at Southern have run into them, and many try not to be the one the story is about.

Photo Credit: Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

PHOTO: SCSU Freshman Joseph Rosen

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