Living with a roommate is never easy, but there are some things that you can do to ensure that there are no problems and that this stress is minimized. The first step to a civil relationship with your roommate is to be polite and use common courtesy. Many disagreements start over a lack of consideration for the other person living in the same room. Try and be considerate in every aspect, and be polite when dealing with the other person.
Dorm rooms are not large by any means, so you will be living in a small space with a total stranger. Politeness and common courtesy by both individuals in the room will go a long way to making this situation tolerable for everyone involved.
Keep your areas of the room clean and neat. Don’t be a slob because this type of behavior can lead to frustration for the other person. You do not have to be a neat freak, but remember that your roommate also has to live in the room. Make your bed each morning, pick up any dirty laundry laying around, and take care of any trash that may be laying around. These steps only take a few minutes each day but can have a big impact on your relationship with your roommate.
Be considerate with friends as well. Do not monopolize the room all the time with numerous friends visiting. Respect the needs of your roommate, and make sure that your friends are not imposing on them. Always make sure it is okay with them before you invite anyone to spend the night in the room. Never assume it is okay without specifically bringing the matter up with your roommate and making sure it will not be an issue.
Roommates do not have to be friends, but both of you should feel comfortable in the room you share. If something makes your roommate uncomfortable then you should not do this in the room, no matter how small or minor the issue may seem. Little issues can build up to big problems over time, so it is better to prevent these in the first place. Do not feel offended if your roommate is uncomfortable with something you do, simply do it somewhere else and not in the room. Being honest and addressing these issues up front can save many problems later on. You also need to be honest with your roommate if they do something that makes you uncomfortable.
A big no no in college roommate etiquette is to use their stuff without asking. Even though you share a room you should never use or take anything that does not belong to you without getting permission first. Accidents do happen, and if something that belongs to your roommate gets broken by you or your friends for any reason you should apologize right away and pay to replace the broken item. A big source of conflict between roommates is gossiping or revealing secrets. As roommates you are both going to have some conflicts, but you should not gossip with your friends or reveal any secrets that you know. If this activity reaches your roommate, and it usually does, there could be a big problem and a lot of mistrust and hurt feelings. Keep it to yourself instead.