Get Started
Back to Index
Get Started
How to Be A Dope Roommate

If you’re not an only child, you probably know what it’s like to share a room with another human. If you are an only child (or just an extremely lucky not-only child), you don’t know how this feels at all. Enter college, where you’re randomly assigned to live with a stranger. 

Admittedly, Harvard works pretty hard to match you with someone with whom they think you’ll get along, so here’s to hoping you didn’t lie in your housing essay. Sometimes, they get it right and you end up with someone fantastic. Other times, not so much. Either way, there are basic rules to having a great living space, so this is how to be a dope roommate:


Your ex complained you never did this and your roommate will too. Set some boundaries—what time do you go to bed? Who gets the single? Are you severely allergic to anything to the point where if I eat it near you, you’ll die and your blood will be on my hands? These are serious questions. And never ever be passive-aggressive (unless your relationship works like that, then you do you, fam). 

Get to know each other.

Hometown, possible concentrations, and number of siblings are major keys (you want to know if you’re rooming with an only child, don’t you? #nojudgement). But here are some more important, practical things: do you shower in the morning or at night? Do you sleep around? Do you have any tests coming up so I know not to bring this month’s bae over? Is calculus a trigger word for you? 

Don’t be disgusting (you). 

Shower regularly. Wear that much-needed deodorant before your roommate buys you one from the 24hr CVS passive-aggressively. Don’t let your space resemble a pigsty. And don’t pick your nose in the common room.

Don’t be disgusting (your food).

Seal your food in tupperware before mice attack your room and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. Throw away the milk before it spoils. And NEVER use the compost bins. Sorry, Earth, but that shit gets gross. 

Ask for permission.

“Hey, can I borrow your blazer?” is 20 times better than “I borrowed your blazer and accidently spilled a Tasty milkshake on it.” “Hey, can I have the room for like an hour?” is 50 times better than your roommate walking in on you and this month’s bae doing the unforgivable.

Don’t expect to be best friends.

You might love your roommate, but don’t forget that you’ll be seeing this person all the time. You might grow to become best friends, but going in determined to be glued at the hip will only make you sick of each other by April. Take it slow, young grasshopper. Start as “peaceful cohabitants” and let it blossom from there.

Next article
Rheede Erasmus,  Editor in Chief
Brammy Rajakumar, Publishing Director
Hannah Phan, Studio 67 Managing Director
The Unofficial Guide to Harvard Copyright © 2020 by Harvard Student Agencies, Inc., Burke-McCoy Hall, 67 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from Harvard Student Agencies, Inc. Photographs reproduced with permission from Austin Eder, Ronia Hurwitz, Lance Katigbak, Mark Kelsey, Cindy Niu, Winnie Wu, and Christina Yee. Printed in Canada by Friesens Corp. The Harvard name and/or VERITAS shield are trademarks of the President and Fellows of Harvard College and are used by permission of Harvard University. LEGAL DISCLAIMER. Although every effort was made to ensure that the following information was correct at the time of going to press, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any part for any loss or damage caused by errors, omissions, or any potential travel disruption due to labor or financial difficulty, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER. All advertisements appearing in Unofficial Publications are sold by an independent agency not affiliated with the editorial production of the guides. Advertisers are never given preferential treatment, and the guides are researched, written, and published independent of advertising. Advertisements do not imply endorsement of products or services by Unofficial Guides, and Unofficial Publications does not vouch for the accuracy of information provided in advertisements. If you are interested in purchasing advertising space in an HSA publication, contact: Studio 67, 67 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA, or