Rommates lack consideration

As is always the case this time of year, first and second year students are moving out of their dorm rooms and into houses and apartments.

A May to May lease with five of your best friends might seem like the final step in your long journey toward emancipation, but beware:

With freedom comes responsibility.

Life in the dorms is cramped and oppressive. You can't drink beer. You can't smoke cigarettes in your room. You need five cards and fifteen keys to enter the building.

But let's face it, life in the dorms is also very care free. All the communal areas are cleaned by a janitor. You don't have to clean your own toilets and showers. You have your own maintenance crew (albeit slow). People cook for you.

Oftentimes new, off-campus responsibilities can arouse conflict among students accustomed to the lazy, "don't worry the janitor will clean it," dorm-room lifestyle.

So, to prevent such conflict, I have made a list of suggestions for rookie renters. They are in no particular order:

1. Rinse your dishes -- wars have been fought over lesser matters. This is seriously a huge thing. There is nothing lazier than not rinsing your dishes. And don't give me that "I was in a hurry" crap. I suggest making a house rule for unrinsed dishes. For example, any unrinsed dish will be broken over the head of the un-rinsing perpetrator and the porcelain shards will be used to scrawl the "non-rinser" on his or her forehead.

2. If you top off the trash, take it out -- if that empty big slurp cup rolls off the top of the trash can, it is your responsibility to take the trash out. Piling up the trash for the next guy is acceptable (but frowned upon), as long as the trash stays in the can. But once roll-off garbage starts collecting on the floor, the bag should be replaced. Roommates should also be prohibited from duct taping or stapling trash to secure its spot in the can. While creative, such acts require even more energy than taking out the trash.

3. Just because you can't smell your feet doesn't mean your roommates can't -- keep those dogs fresh.

4. If a light bulb burns out, replace it -- rarely does a bulb expire on its own with no witnesses. Bulb expiration usually occurs as someone flips a switch. If you flip the switch, you replace the bulb. Roommates who refuse to replace bulbs should be locked in an unlighted room until their eyes atrophy and they are left sightless.

5. Check the lint trap before using the dryer -- do you really want to be responsible for burning down the house?

6. Write down phone messages -- you will never remember to give your roommate a message, especially if it is someone who calls often, like a girlfriend or boyfriend. So, take a little extra time to write phone messages out.

7. Rinse the sink thoroughly after you shave -- there's nothing manlier than looking down at a white sink contrasted by a load of facial hair. It is very reaffirming for one's masculinity, but no one else wants to see it.

8. Flush the toilet -- okay, this one sounds like a given. But in my house, flushing the toilet before hopping in the shower results in water pressure fluctuations and scalding temperatures. As a result, the flushing is often left until after the shower, but you can't forget to flush.

9. Empty the George Foreman Grill fat and grease receptacle -- this isn't that big of a deal, but it is kind of gross when that stuff just sits out in the kitchen.

10. Don't take any food if it is the last piece/chunk/slice left. It's okay to take a little bit of food that isn't yours every now and then. Living off-campus is a give and take relationship. One roommate will steal a slice of cheese while no one is looking, and the owner of the cheese will undoubtedly steal some ketchup or potato chips to make up for it. But you can't steal the cheese or chips if that will deplete the stock. That is a huge mistake.

Also, beer is off limits no matter what. You must always ask permission before yoinking beer (unless it is a Natural product - those are up for grabs).``>&[...>COLUMN NO. 1DNEditorial2+â-¦'>+â-ëNick column 5.23.02NO. 1DNEditorial``>SORT-ó+â-ä>AUDT

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