By Konrad Philip


Avoid those awkward moments when living with others

So you’ve left your crazy/annoying family behind to live with a roommate. Now it’s time to prove you were the only normal one. Make yourself and your roommate feel confident and comfortable (not crazy!) with these four tips.


Share a room, share a broom: You and your roommate(s) may not have the same standards of cleanliness, but nobody wants to step over your entire wardrobe on their way to bed. Also, no matter how fashionable, your clothes will start to smell after spending a few days in the laundry bin. Food starts to stink even sooner. If you are having trouble keeping your possessions organized, consider sending some of them home or donating them.


Speak up: Whether or not you end up becoming best buddies, it is important to talk to each other about your concerns as soon as possible. For example, say you dislike posters of lousy hockey teams; perhaps you should mention that to your roommate on move-in day, before he brings home paraphernalia from a Toronto Maple Leafs game. Waiting until your roomie does something annoying before telling him to stop is more likely to come across as a personal attack and result in hurt feelings.


Know when to shut it: There will be times when your roommate won’t want to listen. This will most likely be early in the morning or late at night. Discuss your sleep schedules and try to be considerate. If you are the earliest riser, avoid using a loud alarm clock and put your cellphone alarm on vibrate. Nighthawks should find other places to hang around and study when their roommate is asleep. Any other noise-producing nighttime activities are a no-no.


Respect privacy: Giving up some of one’s privacy is arguably the biggest downside to living with a roommate. Don’t worsen the situation by looking through your roommate’s things without permission or gossiping about him/her. Your dorm hall is smaller than you may think, and information travels quickly. Comments reaching your roommate could make for a VERY awkward year. Also don’t forget to knock before entering your dorm or your roommate’s room, and always ask permission when inviting friends over.


Hopefully living with your roommate(s) will be a fun experience. If you happen not to like it, at least you’ll know how old married couples must feel.


For more tips on avoiding awkward moments in your life or to submit a question of your own, visit my website Until next time stay confident and comfortable, not conceited.