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Did you prepare your kids to be good college roommates?

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Replies to: Did you prepare your kids to be good college roommates?

  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1216 replies3 threads Senior Member
    “ I think anyone who can have sex with another person in these small dorm rooms borders on slutty or worse. “

    So requiring more space to have sex makes you less slutty? That’s a new one on me.

    Perhaps the 50-yard line? Lots of space in a football stadium.
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1216 replies3 threads Senior Member
    I try to prepare. We've discussed making beds, picking up belongings, not letting wet towels get moldy and festering, not burning popcorn in the microwave, leaving your roommates' things alone, not eating your roommates' food nor drinking your roommates' sodas (or alcohol), not getting drunk and puking all over the place, not sexiling, letting each other know where you're going and when you're expecting to return, looking out for each other at parties, being respectful during early morning or late nights when others are sleeping, etc. BUT, D20 is a complete slob. Or, at least she's a slob at home. She also gets up in the middle of the night and eats our prepared lunches. She went to camp from the time she was 8 until age 14, and I've heard she was a delightful roommate/bunkmate all those summers. Maybe there's hope, especially if she is in a dorm with a communal bathroom that someone else cleans and a dining hall where someone else prepares enough food for everyone else.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33153 replies3874 threads Super Moderator
    @ChoatieMom I hope West Point only had your son on the list for rooming with the 3000 male students. :D

    @OHMomof2 thanks for the reminder about The Naked Roommate. It's been ten years since my younger D went off to college and I forgot about that book. I think my son will need to learn to stand up for his interests.
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  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens 1033 replies63 threads Senior Member
    @tutumom2001 She gets up at night and eats your prepared lunches? (like the other people in the family prepared themselves and lunch and she eats them?) OMG I think she may not still be alive at my house. =))
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  • momocarlymomocarly 917 replies11 threads Member
    S17 is a good roommate. I can't take a lot of credit for it other than making sure he knew how to do his own laundry and cook. I think he mainly did those things on his own! I do feel we taught him manners and good study habits. I would never have said this his junior year of hs. He was a terror! Anyway, I think what made him the best roommate were the summers he spent a camp (from 6 to 17, ending being a counselor). He had to live with others, share, keep clean, take care of others, etc. Did this for 1 -2 months every summer. It made him a better person and a better roommate.

    Now, first year he got along great with his random roommate but decided to move into the frat house after first semester. Roommate decided to get his own place and moved out after a month. They are still friends. S had a private room most of 1st semester. 2nd semester he moved into the frat house. His roommate moved his stuff in and never came back. He left school and most of his stuff. S had private room all semester. Picked his roommate this semester and they have gotten along great!
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  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU 1540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I tried but it didn't stick. DD and her best friend decided that they are both too messy to room together if they attend the same school. They want their friendship to last. I have begged and pleaded with her not to be that roommate and warned her that the housekeeping staff that cleans the suite bathrooms weekly will report her if her dorm room looks like her bedroom at home. We will have to see. Kiddos do things for others that they will not do for mom. :-)
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  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl 2845 replies106 threads Senior Member
    edited February 7
    Edit to delete.
    edited February 7
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  • Fish125Fish125 264 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited February 8
    I didn't prepare my kids to be good roommates during their college years, but we live in a 1100 sq ft home with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, so our kids (as well as their parents) all had to be fairly good roommates in order for us all to live together. Everyone just being able to get showers each morning was always a well choreographed dance, so that we could all get to work and school on time. If someone tosses their crap... er... stuff in the living room and leaves it, even just a few books and a backpack, the house looks cluttered really fast due to the size. We don't have a dishwasher so even just a few dishes on the counter looks messy. We all had to be very respectful to one another (like washing our dishes right away, picking up after ourselves, etc.) in order to live together.

    The attributes they have that made them good roommates are that they are very upfront and loving people. They create strong boundaries, and though they are flexible, on the important stuff, they don't waffle. You know where you stand with them, and they handle criticism well.

    I think the one area I wish we would have better prepared them for was living with people who might have diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues. How to support their roomies in those situations, and to know when they needed to ask for help from an RA or someone else because the situation had turned dangerous or they just had a gut feeling something bigger was going on.
    edited February 8
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    Yes, we had many conversations. We also talked about personal and group safety. When D18 would freak out about something her brother did, we would remind her that she can't try to control roommates.

    My first D got 3 girls who excluded her and had a rough start. D18 has a great roommate and the other suite mates are all over the map. She is not a partier and has been exposed to all sorts of things. I'm just thankful she and her roomie are close and share similar views. They are planning to live together next year.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 3991 replies82 threads Senior Member
    I was really worried that my daughter, who has sleep issues and had never shared a room, would find it challenging to have a roommate. She has always been very accommodating of others, sometimes to her own detriment, so our preparation with her mostly consisted of helping her figure out how to set good boundaries. She really lucked out with all of her roommates.

    My son needed a bit more coaching in how not to be a total pig. This year, he's in an apartment with three girls, and he tells me that they are complete slobs and asked me to buy him a vacuum! So there is hope...
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1216 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited February 11
    @toomanyteens
    She gets up at night and eats your prepared lunches? (like the other people in the family prepared themselves and lunch and she eats them?) OMG I think she may not still be alive at my house.

    Yes - that's exactly what happens. She teaches dance in the evenings and gets home after dinner. If she doesn't like what we had for dinner, she finds something else, going through the next day's lunches. And, yes, I am also surprised that she is still alive.
    edited February 11
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    "She gets up at night and eats your prepared lunches? (like the other people in the family prepared themselves and lunch and she eats them?)"

    This would be a hanging offense in my household, and I'm only kinda joking. Especially if I had an early morning at work and the delights I'd packed in my lunch were the only thing keeping me going.
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  • natty1988natty1988 654 replies8 threads Member
    We just reinforced certain things like: being neat and tidy, clean the hair out of the sink and shower, clean up after yourself, and be respectful of other people and of the dorm room....
    Would you rather have mom and dad point out something you did wrong or a roommate?
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  • Marcie123Marcie123 368 replies32 threads Member
    My daughters are both much neater at school then they are at home. Their logic is that at home only your best friends see your bedroom and they don’t care. At school, everyone sees your room so they want it to be neat.

    D16 has been in a single for the last two years. But she likes having her friends to her room so she keeps it neat. D18 is in a double. She’s a total slob at home so I was worried about driving her roommate crazy. But she says they both keep the room fairly clean and will do a real cleaning once a week-vacuum, dusting etc. I didn’t know she knew how to do any of that! 😉
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16630 replies66 threads Senior Member
    Just sent them off to be honest. They never had trouble at camp and never had issues in school so off to college they went. I have never been accused of being a helicopter parent so maybe there is something to be said for being naieve.
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  • natty1988natty1988 654 replies8 threads Member
    Some other things that I always told my kids were:
    Treat people the way you want to be treated
    No one is perfect
    Don't be a doormat
    And don't be a hypocrite..as in don't get mad at your roommate for being messy when you're messy yourself.

    These things aren't just helpful for college but for life as well...
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