In a dorm room, where the two of you are living an arms-length apart, every inch of your space is considered “shared”. There is no general privacy, no place where you can be alone, no place to just hide when you’re upset. From what I’ve seen, those who grew up fighting over the top bunk with a sibling have a far easier time adjusting to this type of lifestyle than the only child who never had to share space with anyone.
For some, issues of privacy arise even when they have a bedroom to call all their own. When sharing an apartment or house with others, most people opt to rent one entire bedroom for themselves. This is the place where you can walk around naked, eating marshmallow fluff out of the jar, blasting old Slipknot songs on your headphones. That bedroom is your space, your personal sanctuary, your very own place to call your own.
The shared spaces in your home, however, are not.
Areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room are shared by everyone living there. Before you head into these areas, for the love of god, put on some damn pants! These are the places where you have to interact with your roommates and their friends. You may have no shame about throwing down your current flame on the couch and licking whipped cream off their body, but others may not be comfortable walking in on that. Hell, others may not be comfortable sitting on the couch after you’ve done that. And don’t think that others won’t know what you’ve done.
Beyond the usual “keep these areas clean” and “don’t leave your shit piled up everywhere” advice most people will give, I want you all to know that you’ll need to learn a little respect if you’re going to share spaces with others. Don’t bring people over who are going to destroy these areas. Don’t bring dates over to fool around with in these areas. Yes, you pay rent here and have every right to use them. But these areas have to be used by the other people you live with. They might not appreciate waking up to find 3 of your friends passed out on the couches, puddles of puke on the floor, while you’re banging your boyfriend in the shower. Your roommates may feel awkward just coming into these spaces when you have friends over, let alone when they’re in various states of undress with you grinding on top of them in front of the tv.
It’s not just nakedidity and puke you need to be aware of. Don’t redecorate in exclusively your style because you think it looks “better”, especially when you know your roommates won’t like it. If you know one of your roommates is bothered by crumbs in the couch cushions, don’t eat on the damn couch. Don’t blast your music, or your movies, or your video games, especially if you know it may annoy someone there.
Basically, have a little respect for the people you live with. If the thought of their ballsack being rubbed on the kitchen table where you eat makes you want to puke, don’t go having sex there. If you know that loud music bothers someone, don’t start blasting dubstep the second you walk in the door. If you want to do something that you wouldn’t want to watch your roommate do, then do it behind closed doors. Remember, you have your own damn room. Make good use of it.