I don't know about you guys, but I grew up only having to share a bathroom with my brother. Yeah, I yelled at him for leaving the toilet seat up, but that was about it for conflicts we had. (By the way ladies, I trained him very well so he will make a great boyfriend/husband).
But not everyone was raised exactly the same as you were. Going to college really opened my eyes up to what it's like to live with roommates. I've had 5 roommates at this point and every one of them has been totally different. You learn a lot about yourself when you have to live with someone else, for example, in high school I could be a total slob with my room, but once I had to live in a 11'x12' cinder block room with someone else, I became a neat freak and now make my bed every morning and pick up my clothes every night and do my laundry religiously every week.
So here are my best tips for living with roommates and how you can be a better roommate:
Get over your fear of confrontation. That has no place when you're living with other people. If something is really important to you, you need to communicate that. Do you hate when dishes pile up in the sink? Do the lights have to be off at a certain time? Do you need it to be quiet so you can study? Let your roomie know so you can stay sane. Addressing issues when they're small leads to waaay less blow up fights.
Be cognisant of how your roommates are doing. Pay attention to their feelings and stress levels, because chances are, they have a lot going on too. So if dishes are piling up, realize that that group project they're working on just had a group member drop out and they don't have time to do dishes. Now would be a good time to offer to help them out with them. If they're staying up late studying and need the lights on, ask them if they want to go to the library with you. Be courteous of other people's feelings and be a nice person to them.
You can't change the way someone just is. If they're a morning person, that won't just change. Recognize these differences and talk about how you can work through them.
Your roommate hasn't lived with you for the past 18-20 years. They don't know your little quirks and preferences and habits. Be completely upfront when you move in about how you work. This way, some problems won't even become problems.
Your roommate is not your mom. Be reasonable and realistic. Bedtime at 8pm and the dishwasher emptied the second it finishes is not going to happen. They're human too and no one is perfect.
No one wants to believe it. "But, I'm perfect, Paige!" you all shout at me from your bedroom while you blare music at midnight. There is a wonderful skill that takes years for some of us to master: self reflection. Think about it. Maybe you aren't actually pulling your weight with cleaning or you're having friends over almost every night (hint: that's too often). Be nice and courteous. Good karma will come back to you, so if you pick up some extra chores while your roomie has the stomach flu, it won't kill you. Treat them how you would want to be treated.