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College Roommates
Diplomacy and Friendship

You're off to college and you may have either chosen your roommate or you let the college pick one for you.  Either way, the same ground rules apply, and with careful thought you might avoid the dreaded roommate from hell.  Even better, you might actually not end up being the roommate from hell.

Long Term Friends
Most college roommates end up with a friendship that lasts a lifetime.  However to ensure that everyone can live in close quarters, there needs to be some guidelines.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you need to follow an 80/20 rule.

The rule goes like this:
80 percent of everything your roommate does needs to slide off your back.
20 percent that is truly and really, really offensive - needs to be discussed.

Before you ever arrive on campus, as soon as the roommate assignment is made, contact your roommate and introduce yourself if you don't already know each other.  Talk about your likes and dislikes and get to know each other.  This is also a great time to coordinate your dorm room.  Your roommate may be thinking of bringing a small refrigerator, now you don't need to bring one, so you may offer to bring the TV.  Your roommate may mention they have a vacuum cleaner, you might want to offer to bring a small area rug.  See how that goes?  This way, your dorm room wont look like a department store shipping & receiving area - it will actually end up being - well - a dorm.

Remember the 80/20 rule?  Only communication can help you and your roommate get along.  Let's face it, this may be the smallest space you'll ever have to share with anyone.  Living in this small space may mean that your roommate might not necessarily like tripping over all your shoes when they get up.  Your roommate should tell you, and you know what? - unless the request is so unreasonable - you should try to comply.

With good, and often communication, you should be able to resolve any minor differences you two would have.

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