Now that the spring semester is in full swing, I feel I need to address an issue for those who are living with roommates in a dorm room.

I have lived in a dorm here at Texas Wesleyan and at the University of North Texas, and I have also shared a room my entire life through this I have learned that discussing rules with a roommate can be awkward, but they are necessary for living harmoniously with them. Issues like sleep times, cleaning, loud music, etc. must be worked out. All roommates and suitemates need to be aware of their expectations for living together.

Something I try to remember is that not everyone has the common sense I do, and that becomes very apparent when living in a dorm. It is better to get this conversation out of the way as soon as possible because conflict can and will arise.

Probably the most uncomfortable issue, but most important to work out, is when visitors are allowed to be in the room, particularly romantic partners.

Living in a dorm and maintaining a romantic relationship can become tricky business but when you are respectful and mindful of your roommate, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. But it can be.

While one might want to express their love for their partner in their own room, they need to keep in mind it is also someone else’s room.

When couples are together, especially while they are in the infatuation phase, sometimes it is easy to forget that the rest of the world is not in love with you two as well.

Kissing and other forms of affection are not wrong, but keep in mind that you are subjecting your audience to your behavior, and it can get really weird, really fast.

With Valentine’s Day here, I wanted to share some stories that hopefully prevent future accidents from happening.

When I started college in 2014, I never even thought a conversation would be needed for such instances until I heard several horror stories from everyone I know who lived in a dorm with a roommate.

Some stories were PG. One friend of mine said she was doing homework in her dorm and her roommate and her roommate boyfriend would cuddle and occasionally kiss. It did not freak my friend out but it did make her uncomfortable.

I have been in several of these situations where I all felt I could do it put my headphones in and hope it stops.

It gets a little weirder. I heard a story from a classmate who said her roommate kept her up until 2 in the morning because she was having dirty conversations on the phone.

The most common roommate horror stories I have heard involve walking in on the other having sexual intercourse. These situations can definitely be traumatizing but can easily be prevented.

For dorm residents who want intimate time with their partner, but want to remain respectful of their roommate, there are ways to work it out, and roommates should do so right away.

The easiest thing to do is know where your roommate is and when they are coming back to the room. Save them the surprise because that is an experience they will never forget.

The wildest story I have heard was a roommate having sex with their partner, while the roommate was in the room.

Never in a million years could I imagine someone comfortable enough to do that, and it really is sad that a roommate would have to have a conversation about not having sex in front of each other.

If you are someone who thinks it is OK to put your roommate through that, I am telling you now, it is not. Don’t do it.

Even if you think your roommate is asleep, even if you think you can be quiet, don’t do it.

Unless your roommate is cool with the situation, know that that is a boundary never OK to cross.

If that wasn’t an obvious fact to you before, I am telling you now. Do not have sexual intercourse in front of your roommate. Make the pledge now.

If you find yourself in an unpleasant situation like the ones I mentioned, or any situation that makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Talk to your roommate about the issue, let them know how you feel and ask them to stop.

For many people, it can be easy to be unaware of your actions, especially with love involved. They need to know that around their roommate and suitemates they may need to chill out a little. If y’all can’t work it out, talk to the RA. Something can be done.

I know having to establish rules and agreements with your roommates can make you uneasy, but in the long run those rules pay off. Those conversations are not as awkward as having to face your roommate after walking in on them in a compromising position.

Keeping romantic relationships out of the dorm room can prevent many awkward situations. Photo taken by Hannah Lathen

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Hannah Lathen

Hannah Lathen is a senior at Texas Wesleyan with plans to change the world through her work in journalism. Lathen was raised right here in Fort Worth and found her passion for storytelling while working as managing editor for Tarrant County College’s newspaper, The Collegian. Part of her passion for journalism also comes from her drive to make sure the public knows the truth about what is happening around them. Through her writing, Lathen hopes to increase the awareness of those around her. She finds inspiration from prominent figures such as John F. Kennedy all the way to Kim Kardashian West.

Lathen spends her free time jamming out at concerts and protesting unprogressive ideals.

After college, Lathen wants to transition from journalism into activism. Her favorite quotes are “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” by Nelson Mandela and “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite,” by William Blake.

Lathen’s motto is “question everything.”

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