Accommodate your roommate, not their guests

Emily Pape

One of the most awkward moments a person can endure is walking in on a private moment between two people. This is not an uncommon occurrence for college students living with roommates. For students who share a room with another person, it’s especially important to be completely honest with what you’re comfortable with when your roommate brings a guest into the room.

“I didn’t know my roommate before school started,” said Samantha Marner, an exercise science freshman. “When I first met her, I wanted to seem really cool and laid back so we’d get along well.”

It’s crucial to make a good first impression when you meet a random roommate so you can maintain a healthy relationship for the rest of the school year. But this is also an important time to be completely honest and upfront about boundaries so as to avoid awkward situations in the future.

“When my roommate first asked me if she could have her boyfriend stay the night, I hesitated and said sure,” Marner said. “But after, I instantly regretted it and felt pretty uncomfortable. I just didn’t want to hurt her feelings or make her think I was uncool for saying no.”

During the second week of school, all UT residence hall RA’s were required to give out a roommate agreement form to each room. The resident was required to fill out and return the form within a week. The form posed different situations that both residents have to agree on. There’s a section regarding significant others and if they’re allowed over or not and if so, when.

“At the beginning of the year, my roommate and I talked about what will happen when his girlfriend comes to visit and we filled out the agreement form and I said I was cool with her coming,” said Victor Winston, a mechanical engineering freshman. “I try to give them as much privacy as possible because I feel like it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it bothers me, but I don’t want to say anything to him because he’s my friend and I know he’d do the same for me.”

When my roommate and I first moved in, we told each other we were okay our boyfriends coming over, just as long as we texted and gave each other a heads up. Her boyfriend lives back home, so whenever he comes to visit he’ll usually stay one or two nights. A few weeks ago she had asked me if he could stay the week while they looked for apartments for next year. I said no because that made me feel weird, and it would’ve been a major distraction for me. At first, I felt bad because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or cause a problem, but afterward, I felt better because I knew it was better to be honest than to feel uncomfortable in my own living space.

Speaking up and telling your roommate what you’re okay with is important. Otherwise, you’ll be uncomfortable throughout the whole school year, even though it is unnecessary and avoidable.

Pape is a journalism freshman from San Antonio.