Seph’s Survival Guide to College Living – Roommates

Onondaga Community College is a social college. Students from all over the world attend class here in little old Syracuse, alongside those who’ve never left Onondaga county in their life. We didn’t get as far as we have without being social and outgoing.

Personally, I’m a quiet guy. My definition of a good Friday night is to pull my chair up to my desk with a mug of tea and play some games on my computer. However, to lower my student debt, I’ve taken to living in triple-occupancy suites. For a guy like me, it’s a new experience to suddenly have two other guys I communicate with, face-to-face, on a daily basis, outside of the classroom.

If you find yourself in a similar position, don’t panic. I’ll list a few rules to abide by to get along with your roommates and have a safe and productive college experience.

  • Communication – In this day and age, sending a text to a friend is as simple and autonomous as breathing. However, maybe your roommate doesn’t want to share their phone number, or perhaps they don’t even use a phone. How to proceed?


    My friends, let me introduce you to a revolutionary new idea called ‘talking’. Yup, good ol’ verbal communication. Sit down and talk to your roommates. Let them know what’s bothering you, discuss whose turn it is to take out the trash, or (politely!) explain how their loud music interrupts your studying.
  • Cleanliness – I know, you’re a young, attractive 18-year old, barely out of your teens and finally out from under the tyrannical rule of your parents. But guess what? You stink. Literally. And your roommates don’t really want to live in a room with dirty socks and underwear thrown on every chair!

    I know that you’re probably not as bad as that, but seriously, college is the perfect time to learn how to take care of yourself in a safe environment. Shower regularly, clean up your messes, throw your clothes in the laundry, and don’t forget to wash behind the ears. Do these things, and you’ll get along with your roommates just fine.

  • Orderliness – Related to the above, making sure that everything has its own place is essential to cohabitation. If you have a dresser, fill it with clothes. If you have a hamper, put your dirty things in there as soon as you finish changing. Keep trash in the trashcan, and put your books back in the bag when you’re finished with homework. No one likes tripping over your guitar in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom.

  • Headphones – A little out of left-field, but a good set of headphones or earbuds goes a long way towards keeping peace with your roommates. Your music may be amazing, and your favorite YouTube video super entertaining, but most people aren’t exactly thrilled to hear the audio blasting from your speaker.

Keep to these rules, and your experience in the Residence Halls will be just fine. Remember, it’s only four semesters for an Associate degree in your field of study. I’m sure that you can spend a few months of the year living in peace with your fellow students.

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