Weekly five: Ways to get along with your roommates.

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With the start of a new semester, many students are moving in with new roommates. BYU students commonly live with four to six roommates in each apartment there, which means there are bound to be some differences in personality and lifestyle. After talking to current students and recent graduates, The Universe came up with a few tips that will hopefully make BYU students’ home lives’ a bit more harmonious.

1. Do your dishes

Many roommate conflicts arise as a result of a small cooking space. Couple with differing, often busy schedules, many students have a hard time keeping the shared kitchen space neat and tidy. Cleaning up the kitchen and doing your dishes right away instead of letting them sit for days can help to greatly improve your relationship with your roommates.

“I think it helps to do your fair share of chores around the apartment, because it is super annoying to have a roommate that never cleans up and the others have to do it for him or her,” said Brittany Christenson, a recent BYU graduate. “That’s the biggest thing I can think of.”

2. Serve your roommates

Taking the time to serve those around you is a good way to building strong, healthy relationships. The same concept applies to your roommates. Doing little things to serve your roommates can help them feel your love and respect, which in turn will help your strengthen your relationship.

Hilary Dalton, a current BYU student, said she think service is the most important factor in getting along with your roommates.

“Serve them! That is the single most important and helpful thing to do besides loving them,” Dalton said. “Love and service. That’s what it’s all about, no matter the type of roommate you have.”

3. Label your stuff

Labeling your dishes and other items left in shared space in the apartment can help avoid conflict with roommates. Label things, not just food. You should also label things like DVDs, CDs and bathroom items, too. Put out a schedule on things shared and when to take turns buying them so you can easily divide it up amongst the roommates.

4. Respect your roommates’ space

Before using each others’ stuff, talk about what you are and are not OK with sharing. Then if a roommate does or does not want to share, respect their wishes.

“I think another big thing is that you have to genuinely respect them (respect their things, their space, their time),” said Rachelle Allan, a recent BYU graduate. “You don’t have to be someone’s best friend to respect them.”

5. Give your roommate the benefit of the doubt

Every college student has stressful, hard days. While living together, there will, without a doubt, be times when roommates are not on their best behaviors. So be understanding. Just because your roommate is not in a good mood doesn’t mean it is necessarily aimed at you personally. Maybe he or she just need some understanding and space.

Brett Mortimer, a BYU student, said having some understanding for a bad day can really help you get along with your roommates.

“Remember that if someone is in a bad mood, it’s usually because they had a bad day,” Mortimer said. “Don’t hold it against them and help them through it, if possible.”

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