As Texas Tech students have experienced what life is like away from home after their first year in college, now they need to decide their living arrangements next year.

When deciding where they want to live, some students may room with the person they lived with the previous year, but others will start looking for new roommates. Two options students have is to room with friends or randomly get assigned roommates if they decide to not get a one-bedroom apartment/dorm room.

One mistake some students make when making living arrangements is rooming with their best friends. While it sounds like a good idea, sometimes it can ruin a friendship. In my four years at Tech, I have heard multiple stories of best friends moving in with each other and splitting apart because of a pet peeve or disrespectful habit one of the two had, causing frustration and conflict. Just because someone is a good friend does not always mean he or she will be a good roommate.

In other cases, living with someone you know is not necessarily a bad idea. Living with a friend and knowing you already have a relationship with your roommate can be comforting. With someone you know, it is easier to communicate and plan out who is bringing essentials such as kitchenware and furniture.

While many students want to have the perfect roommate to spend the academic year with, they may not think about the specific qualities they should embrace to be a quality roommate themselves.

To me, one of the most important traits of being a good roommate is simply just being a respectful person. I like to think about it like living with a parent. If you would not be loud and blaring music at midnight when you know your parents have work in the morning, do not do the same when you know your roommate has to be up early. Just being respectful and aware of your roommate’s schedule is one easy way to be a good roommate.

Another way to be a favorable roommate is to be clean. One of the complaints I hear the most from my colleagues is that they are frustrated with their roommates who refuse to clean after themselves. For me, when I cook or do anything that leaves a mess I typically clean up after myself immediately. When you deal with your mess immediately after you make it, it cancels out the chance of you saying “I will get to it later” and leaving it for your roommate to deal with.

Along with being considerate of noise and cleaning up after yourself, another trait of being a quality roommate is to respect other’s space. Over the years, I have heard about people’s roommates taking things out of their rooms without asking. This kind of falls under being a respectful roommate, but it is honestly one of the easiest complaints to fix. Simply ask your roommate when you need to borrow something. More than likely, he or she would not mind if you borrowed something as long as you ask for permission.

These are just three of the biggest issues I have heard regarding roommate conflicts in my time as a student. Other small things — taking out the trash when needed, asking if your roommate is OK with people coming over, and not annoying your roommate — are other things that could help make you an exceptional roommate.

College rooming is something that, in most cases, lasts an academic year, so make sure you find a roommate who has a similar personality and schedule. I also would recommend that if there is something bugging you with your roommate, try to communicate and resolve the problem before it escalates.

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