If you currently live in West Campus, then you may or may not still have war flashbacks of the infamous Rich Hall 10th floor fire of 2017. Students had to evacuate West Campus (Rich Hall especially, because someone’s mattress was on fire). All of my friends and I live in Rich, and at first we were just irritated by the dorm evacuation because we assumed it was just a poorly timed drill at 9:40 p.m. Besides, what are the odds that an actual fire would break out?
When we were waiting outside, my friend looked me dead in the eye and said, completely seriously, “This is the ultimate petty way of letting your roommate know you hate them — by literally setting their bed on fire.” So that got me thinking, now that this semester is drawing to a close and housing assignments have been set, it might be time for some of us to re-evaluate our roommate situations. Whether you’re rooming with your best friend, this year’s roommate again, or a random stranger next year, here are a few nifty tips on what not to do, so that you can be a better roommate.
Be loud when your roommate is sleeping.
This is just common sense — if your roommate is blissfully napping after a long day (or week, or month), then just let them sleep. Don’t Skype your entire family and scream over each other about the holiday plans, or decide to vacuum the floor or throw a shindig with your friends. It’s common courtesy: show some respect for your roommate and they’ll show you the same to you.
Be a slob.
I’m not saying you need to be anal about every piece of lint or hint of a dust bunny, but remembering to tidy up your side of the room every so often makes your dorm room that much more bearable. Take out the trash, vacuum the crumbs from a night out in Allston, open the windows to air out the place and clean up the pile of clothes that has been accumulating on your floor. A clean room is a happy room, after all.
Take over the room.
By this I mean that you should respect the boundaries you set with your roommate. If your roommate wants to create a serene space on their side of the room with Christmas lights and 17 pillows, then don’t continue to tape zombie caution tape and hang up fake skeletons past the middle border of the room. You and your roommate don’t always have to have the same taste, but at least respect their wishes for their own side — it’ll make living together that much easier in the long run.
Steal your roommate’s stuff.
This one should honestly be self-explanatory, but maybe there are some people out there who pay no attention to boundaries. If your roommate splurged on some cheesecake or cannoli from Mike’s Pastry, don’t be the jerk that eats half of it for breakfast without asking.
Set their bed on fire.
Whether it’s intentional or not, just don’t do it. Unplug your twinkle lights when you’re not home so they don’t heat up and explode and send your comforter ablaze. Don’t leave your straightener plugged in on the highest setting and leave it on your blanket. Don’t smoke in your room and fall asleep — that is not only illegal, but also has dangerous consequences. If you and your roommate don’t get along, trust me, there are other ways to sort out your problems than by setting their side of the room on fire.