I. Thou Shalt Clean Up After Yourself in the Bathroom
Pick your questionable looking clump of hair from the drain. Don’t squat on the toilet seat, and if you do, wipe off any bodily fluids. Throw your tampons and sanitary napkins into the trash. None of this shit would fly in the privacy of your own home, what makes you think 20 complete strangers will allow it?
II. Thou Shan’t Puke or Pee In the Hallway
I have a pretty high tolerance for gratuitous violence and gore, but the one thing that I cannot stand in this world is vomit. It’s gross and stinks and seeing it only invokes a gag reflex in most people. For the love of whatever you hold dear in this world, try your best to make it to the bathroom (and into the toilet). If you can’t make it, be courteous and clean up after yourself. If you’re still too drunk after puking, then at least try to remember to do it when you wake up the next day. No facilities personnel should have to deal with that. It’s bad enough that they’re cleaning your communal bathrooms.
III. Thou Shalt Keep the Noise Level of Thy Sexual Activities to a Minimum
Last night I was reminiscing with an old college buddy about this girl who lived on our floor senior year and had the habit of having incredibly loud sex at all hours of the day and night. This girl was a tiny, 5 ft tall Vietnamese pre-med student, but damn was she loud. I lived 3 doors down from her, and I could still hear her over the Blueprint III. My college buddy was telling me that a friend of his came to visit one weekend, and he was around the corner using the guy’s bathroom and he could still hear her. At one point, someone in our hall put a post-it note on her door asking if she as okay and also to keep it down because the whole hall could hear her.
Props to her for having sex regularly, but seriously, when it gets to the point where everyone on the 3rd floor can hear you scream in the throes of passion, it’s time to reign it in.
IV. Thou Shan’t Blast Thy Music
Excepting a party situation, you really should try and make sure to keep your music down. I struggled with this one in particular because I thought I had awesome taste in music that I felt compelled to share with my hallmates. Guess what? None of them felt the same way. It’s understandable to need to blast the tunes for a 5 minute impromptu dance party in between your DeLillo readings, but don’t turn it into a power hour on a Wednesday night. No one needs that…especially during midterms and finals.
V. Thou Shan’t Bring Thine Sex Buddy/Significant Other Into a Shared Living Situation
Your relationship with your roomate(s) will never be the same if you sneak your boyfriend/girlfriend/buddy into your bed at 3 AM and proceed to get it on. One, you’re not as stealthy as you think and your roomate(s) probably woke up when they heard the door click and could hear another set of footsteps. Two, if that didn’t wake them up, the thrashing of blankets, giggles, and inevitable moaning surely will.
VI. Thou Shan’t Dump Another’s Clean Laundry onto the Ground
Yes, it’s incredibly annoying when someone forgets to move their laundry from washer to dryer or dryer to room. But, come on! That person just spent at least 3 bucks washing and drying their clothes, and now you’ve just flung them onto the linty, dusty, dirty laundry room floor. You don’t know why they forgot to pick up their clothes? Maybe a class ran late? Or they just got a phone call in which they found out someone died? Just move their clothes to one of the many tables that is in your laundry room (or on top of the washing machine) and get on with it. One day you just might be in their shoes!
VII. Thou Shan’t Be a Nuisance to Thine Roommate
Make sure your mess stays on your side of the room. Don’t have sex on your roommate’s bed. That phone call you take at 2 AM can be taken outside (and don’t you even think about having a phone conversation in the hallway!). You don’t need every single light on in the room in order to finish up studying. Try turning the knob slowly when you enter and leave the room at 4 AM. Don’t constantly forget your keys.
VIII. Thou Shalt Exercise Sound Judgement with Regards to Dormcest
Try not to become an item on the bucket list of the guys/gals living in your dorm. If you’re shameless, go to town. But, if you already awkwardly scurry away and avoid eye contact when you run into a one-night stand at sunday brunch in the dining hall, you might want to keep your pants on where your dorm-mates are concerned.
IX. Thou Shalt Respect the Space
If you’re going to deface school property, do it to something other than a student living space. It’s bad enough you’re stuck in a shitty living situation for up to 3 years…don’t make it worse by knocking down Exit signs and smashing doors.
X. Thou Shalt Be Respectful When Smoking
Understandably, you don’t want to get busted by the cops when smoking outside. But, be considerate and make sure it’s not creating a problem for the people in your dorm. Secondhand smoke is uncool, and it kills. Also, you never know when someone on your floor might have asthma or any other respiratory illness.
And make sure not to smoke near any detectors. My freshman dorm-room got completely flooded when a couple of idiots decided to smoke right underneath a detector in the stairwell in the middle of February. The sprinklers burst and our room smelled like a flooded basement for the rest of the year.