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Grandma Gracie

Making room for roommates

By Gracie Fairfax | Echo 

Grandma Gracie OnlineNo one likes to be hated. At least that’s what I’ve gathered in my lifetime. There’s always that occasional person who seems to make it their mission to make enemies, but for the most part we’d all rather be Superman or Wonder Woman than the     Joker. Over the years, I‘ve had quite a few roommates, and I’ve tried to be Wonder Woman. I’ve failed at times, but now I’m old and wise, so I’m going to give you advice on how to be a good roommate once you’ve signed your names on the dotted line together—whether or not it lasts forever.

1) Talk

This may seem oversimplified for you social butterflies out there, but some people struggle to spread their wings. Talking is key in securing a roommate and keeping him or her around. Ask about your friend’s day, and actually listen to their reply.

2) Be aggressive

Aggressively kind. Okay, maybe don’t shove flowers in your roommate’s face. I tried it once, and I learned a lot about my roommate’s allergies. Regardless, most people will be receptive to a kind note or their favorite chocolate bar you picked up at the corner store.

3) Find out what makes them smile

Everyone has bad days and it’s on those days that it’s important to cheer up the person who shares the same shoebox as you. Read them a bedtime story, make them a cup of tea or bring them Starbucks. Make sure they go to sleep with a smile. After all, they know where you sleep and no one likes to be woken by an angry roommate’s attack. You can’t assume anything.

4) Remember that they are a human

This goes with most advice involving relationships. People are people. Sometimes they’ll let you down, other times they might just have an off day. It’s at this point that you need to remember they will not be perfect and implement the advice from step 3.

5) Be kind to their friends

Whether or not you and the person you cohabitate with are good friends, it is important to at least show you care about the people they care about. Smile, say hi and maybe even take a risk and ask a question. If you dare.

6) Clean up after yourself

Especially if your roommate is a neat person (as in not messy, although I’m sure they’re also pretty cool), make sure to keep your stuff as neat as they do. When the semester gets busy, you might find dog hair on the floor and question why. You then remember that they don’t even have a dog, but rather than remain confused, simply suggest you both tidy up.

7) Find something you enjoy doing together

Some people are into paper-mâché, others collect Elvis Presley bobble heads. Whatever it is, most people have some common ground if they are simply willing to look for it. If you can’t find common ground, Google interesting hobbies and explore a new one together. In my research, two fun and interesting hobbies are playing dead and appearing in the background on T.V. shows. If Google had been around back in my roommate days, the list of strange things my roommate and I liked to do would have needed a longer scroll.

I hope you found these tips to give you an extra boost of enthusiasm toward interacting with your roommate. Personally, I’ve realized that having roommates prepares you well for marriage. So, get out there, be nice to your roommate or find one if you don’t have one. Roommates are great and come in a wide variety of styles and personality types, so push past the stereotypes and horror stories and try sharing four walls with another human.

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