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One of the most difficult parts of college is living with people your own age.

Because the college years tend to be a transitional period, it can be difficult living with others. You are constantly changing during this stage of your life, and it can be hard to get along with others who are doing the same.

However, don’t fret, because there are ways you can easily become a better roommate that are simple and take little to no effort. Being a good roommate starts with the rules you learned in kindergarten, so let’s take a moment to relive your past as I teach you the ways:

1. Sharing is caring

Colored Pencils

Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This goes back to the Pre-K days when we learned if we wanted to play with our neighbor’s Legos, we had to be willing to share our Barbies.

It may seem like an extremely simple concept, but there are so many people out there who don’t understand how to share.

There are many benefits of sharing: not only will you have fuller and more complete kitchen sets, but you’ll also save so much money if everyone buys different things for the household.

To put it simply: If you expect to use your roommate’s possessions, you should also expect to share your own belongings.

Side note: this rule can be especially true when dealing with children of “only child syndrome.” Beware: they like to use your things, but refuse to share their own!

2. Stranger danger

We’ve been taught practically since infancy that strangers are scary and bad. Now that you’re in college, you should still heed the warning your mother probably repeated thousands of times—except now that you’re on your own, you should take it even more seriously.

Whether you want to believe this or not, you are responsible for your guests’ behavior and are liable for what they do while in your place of residence. Choose who you invite over wisely, or you could be putting everyone at risk.

Plus, I’m sure your roommates won’t appreciate finding a random girl/boy sleeping on your living room couch when they wake up to go to class.

3. You make the mess, you clean it up

Dirty Dishes

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Long gone are the days when your mom followed your every step to clean up your messes. You’re old enough now to be able to clean up the messes you make.

Immaturity is not an excuse. This is common sense. If you’re smart enough to get into college, this should be an easy concept to grasp.

If you use a dish, clean it. If you break a glass, sweep up the pieces. If you throw a party, clean up afterward.

Do not allow yourself or others to trash your living space and expect someone else to clean up after you. Not only is it rude, but this will quickly wear on your roommate’s nerves.

4. Use the golden rule

Basically, treat your roommates how you would like to be treated.

If you need everyone to keep quiet on the nights you’re pulling an all-nighter for that brutal biology exam, respect your rommates’ wishes when they need the same courtesy.

If they ask you for help with chores or other requests, agree to help. After all, you never know when you’ll be the one who needs assistance.

5. Use the magic words

“Thank you” is one of the most underrated phrases in the English language. It’s amazing how just two words can show so much appreciation and make someone feel special.

When your roommates do something for the household, thank them. For example, if you notice one of your roommates has spent most of the day cleaning, take two seconds out of your day to thank him or her for the hard work.

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