Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reader Question: A Non-Goth Roommate?

To The Every Day Goth 
 I am going to my very first year at university this fall and we just got our roommate assignments. My roommate is very much not gothic, how do I make sure we get along?


I don't have much Goth-applicable advice for roommates because, to be honest, living with someone you've never met before is an issue that many, many people deal with over the course of their lives and it's stressful for almost everyone. I had a non-Goth roommate my first college year and we got along great, not once did my being a Goth become an issue. So, here's some general roommate advice:

I assume that your University has given you an e-mail or number contact with your roommate with, and that's a good place to start! Working out issues about what is permissible behavior and what you expect from one another before you get to the room will help make the first few weeks less awkward. Some things to discuss:

  • What time do you expect to go to sleep on school nights? What time do you wake up?
  • Are you a tidy person?  Does the idea of splitting up cleaning work appeal to you?
  • What are your thoughts on sharing things? Food, clothes, etc.?
  • How do you feel about locking doors? Every time you leave the room? Every time you leave the floor or dorm? Never?
  • Will you play music in the room without headphones? Is there a cut off time for this?
  • How will you handle guests in the room, during the day and over night?
  • How will you handle sex-guests, if applicable?
Some of these questions might sound weird to ask, but it's better to get it out of the way before it becomes an issue. 

Here are some other misc rules that I think might apply to Goths that are new to the whole roommate thing:
  • If your roommate asks about "the whole Goth thing," try not to be as snarky as you might be to someone on the street. If you're short with them, you have to deal with whatever hurt feelings and bad associations they now have with Goth up close. Just be polite, give them an explanation and answer their questions. 
  • If you have any art or decorations in your room that might generally be considered disturbing (blood, gore, skulls, etc.) then it would be courteous to offer to take them down if your roommate asks. Yes, artistic expression and all that, but the space is your roommate's too and they have a right to feel comfortable in it. 
  • If you somehow have a very conservative roommate who causes you some trouble because of your perceived deviant lifestyle, get in contact with the appropriate authority figures (RA, community advisor, etc.) right away.

But, the good thing about having a non-Goth roommate is that they probably won't borrow your clothes without asking. Silver linings, right?

So, readers, how have you coped with Goth roommates?

And, as always, send your reader mail and questions to my Contact Me page or e-mail me at


  1. I'm really happy I've never had to do the roommate thing, never mind a conflict between personal styles, the idea of living with a complete stranger creeps me out! Through my experience of being alternative in University I have to say people don't discriminate against goth/alt very often, mostly they find it interesting. I was friends with some very clean cut Christian girls who wouldn't swear or wear a two piece bathing suit, it's not about how you dress or what you like, so long as you're nice and friendly and aren't one of those dicks who purposely tries to be disturbing or grotesque you should be fine.

    1. Great advice! None of my friends at college are Goth either, but we all get along really well and I even roomed with one of them for my second year. I'm glad other people have had similar good experiences with non-Goth friends.

  2. sometime to best answer to someone that doesn't like or understand the hole goth think it as simple as "you like what you like"

  3. Play the Sisters of Mercy as loud as possible everyday. I turned my whole dorm into goths years back! Best of luck and have a great time!