The Daily Eastern News

Editorial: Don’t be someone’s roommate horror story

Staff Editorial

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Something college students learn early on in their journeys from high school dependence to higher education semi-independence is that roommates can either light up your life or make it a living hell.

It seems like every college student has their own roommate horror story; these cautionary tales range from roommates refusing to take trash out to roommates refusing to pay their end of the rent.

This should go without saying: Don’t be the cause for anymore roommate horror stories.

We at The Daily Eastern News understand that it is extremely difficult to change old habits.

Still, moving in with one or more stranger(s) who are in the same or similar boat as you for the first time is a learning experience, so treat others with respect and learn from it.

First of all, living with roommates teaches people how to be semi-independent.

What we mean by that is it’s often the first time people live away from home.

Lots of college students need the financial security their parents or guardians offer, so they’re still linked back home in a way. Thus, these students are only semi-independent.

There are also students who are working hard to support themselves through college. These people often have to juggle a full-time academic schedule and a job on top of that. Some students have multiple jobs, at that.

If you have a roommate who is in one of these positions, communicate with each other. You don’t have to lend an open ear to listen to their struggles; just set some ground rules and let them know what you expect from them as a roommate and what you intend to do in return.

Secondly, don’t be that inconsiderate jerk.

Don’t leave your dirty anything in anyone else’s space, don’t be combative, don’t be unnecessarily loud, don’t steal what belongs to your roommate and etcetera.

Like we said before, this should be conventional wisdom, but it is not always the case. Some members of our editorial board can certainly attest to this.

But still, these issues can be easily avoided if you just communicate with your roommate(s).

Lastly, this is something you might not hear very often: Your roommates don’t have to be your friends.

There’s a reason they’re called roommates—they live with you. They aren’t called your friends or family because that’s really the only (initial) relationship you have with them. You’re roommates.

That doesn’t mean you and your roommate(s) cannot blossom beautiful friendships.

You could end up chatting with your old roommates for the rest of your life.

Additionally, if your roommate just wants their own space with no chit-chat, let them have it. You’ll only make your roommate uncomfortable if you force any bonding.

All in all, living with roommates is a great learning experience. Instead of allowing yourself to become a college life cliché, learn as much as you can from the experience and enjoy it.

The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Editorial: Don’t be someone’s roommate horror story