Things to Keep in Mind When Living in Mixed (Co-Ed) Housing

By Victoria Robertson on December 23, 2017

While many dorms are separated in terms of gender (some by floor and others simply by rooms), there are also some dorms that provide mixed housing environments in which genders can live together interchangeably. This can be a bit awkward at first, especially if you are a freshman that isn’t at all familiar with the environment.

Chances are, if this is something that you aren’t comfortable with, you’ve made requests to avoid such a situation. That being said, for those of you that find yourselves in this situation without any ideas in regards to etiquette, here are six things to keep in mind when living in mixed housing.

Photo Via: pixabay.com

1. Not everyone has the same comfort level

This is at the top of the list as it’s easily one of the most important considerations in this environment: not everyone has the same comfort level. Just because you feel at ease in a given situation doesn’t mean that someone else does too. This also goes for same-sex dorms but is most important to bring up here as mixed dorms can bring forth a certain level of discomfort. So, for this reason, you want to ensure that you’re doing your best to make everyone around you feel comfortable as well. Don’t assume that what you’re doing is okay because you’re comfortable, as there are others to consider as well.

2. Dating is (almost) always a bad idea

While mixed dorms do provide a great opportunity to meet new people and potentially find romantic interests, you want to keep a few ground rules in mind as well. First and foremost, if you’re in co-ed rooms, you don’t want to begin any form of romantic relationship with your roommate. At least, not while you live together. This is a surefire way to create problems down the road, so avoiding this issue from the get-go is your best bet. In addition, if you’re able to avoid dating anyone in your near proximity (i.e. on your floor etc.) this is best as well for the same reason.

3. Be respectful

This relates strongly not only to the way in which you keep your room clean, but the bathroom as well. This is often a huge issue as men and women work a little differently in both regards. This can cause issues quickly, so again, make sure you’re being respectful of each other. If you have a roommate that’s continually leaving feminine products out for all to see, this could cause issues. So avoid these by being neat and orderly and respecting the other individuals around you.

4. Privacy is lacking

This brings me to my next point: there is no privacy in mixed dorm situations. Many dorms still have formats in which men and women share floor bathrooms. In these cases, simple acts such as taking a shower are no longer private. For this reason, you want to prepare yourself for the lack of privacy, but you also want to ensure that you’re taking extra measures to improve privacy for others. For instance, bringing a robe into the bathroom for after your showers can be less shocking to some than simply wearing a towel. Again, these are small things that come down to a matter of comfort, but always keep others in mind.

5. Feeling needs to impress

More often than not in a mixed dorm, students feel an overwhelming need to impress all the time. In other words, you want to look your best every day to attract someone that you may be interested in. For this reason, you can feel pressure fairly often in this kind of environment. If you know this is your personality type, try to combat it by simply focusing more on your school work and getting out when possible so you don’t feel an overwhelming need to impress all the time.

6. Be a social butterfly

Last, but not least, you’ll want to be a social butterfly. This is a great opportunity to network and to potentially meet new people as well that you’ll be friends with for years to come. Single-sex dorms can be limiting in this regard, so co-ed opportunities will definitely help you to meet more people and make more connections that will help you now and later on down the road as well.

Again, mixed housing environments, if new to you, can be a bit stressful and difficult to navigate at first. That being said, you’ll get used to the situation sooner rather than later, and before long, you’ll forget what it’s like to live in an entirely segregated environment.

Even so, you’ll want to ensure you’re following proper etiquette to avoid any problems down the road and to ensure that you, and everyone around you, are comfortable in their living spaces.

While many dorms are separated in terms of gender (some by floor and others simply by rooms), there are also some dorms that provide mixed housing environments in which genders can live together interchangeably. This can be a bit awkward at first, especially if you are a freshman that isn’t at all familiar with the environment.

Chances are, if this is something that you aren’t comfortable with, you’ve made requests to avoid such a situation. That being said, for those of you that find yourselves in this situation without any ideas in regards to etiquette, here are six things to keep in mind when living in mixed housing.

Photo Via: pixabay.com

1. Not everyone has the same comfort level

This is at the top of the list as it’s easily one of the most important considerations in this environment: not everyone has the same comfort level. Just because you feel at ease in a given situation doesn’t mean that someone else does too. This also goes for same-sex dorms, but is most important to bring up here as mixed dorms can bring forth a certain level of discomfort. So, for this reason, you want to ensure that you’re doing your best to make everyone around you feel comfortable as well. Don’t assume that what you’re doing is okay because you’re comfortable, as there are others to consider as well.

2. Dating is (almost) always a bad idea

While mixed dorms do provide a great opportunity to meet new people and potentially find romatic interests, you want to keep a few ground rules in mind as well. First and foremost, if you’re in co-ed rooms, you don’t want to begin any form of romantic relationship with your roommate. At least, not while you live together. This is a surefire way to create problems down the road, so avoiding this issue from the get-go is your best bet. In addition, if you’re able to avoid dating anyone in your near proximity (i.e. on your floor etc.) this is best as well for the same reason.

3. Be respectful

This relates strongly not only to the way in which you keep your room clean, but the bathroom as well. This is often a huge issue as men and women work a little differently in both regards. This can cause issues quickly, so again, make sure you’re being respectful of each other. If you have a roommate that’s continually leaving feminine products out for all to see, this could cause issues. So avoid these by being neat and orderly and respecting the other individuals around you.

4. Privacy is lacking

This brings me to my next point: there is no privacy in mixed dorm situations. Many dorms still have formats in which men and women share floor bathrooms. In these cases, simple acts such as taking a shower are no longer private. For this reason, you want to prepare yourself for the lack of privacy, but you also want to ensure that you’re taking extra measures to improve privacy for others. For instance, bringing a robe into the bathroom for after your showers can be less shocking to some than simply wearing a towel. Again, these are small things that come down to a matter of comfort, but always keep others in mind.

5. Feeling needs to impress

More often than not in a mixed dorm, students feel an overwhelming need to impress all the time. In other words, you want to look your best every day to attract someone that you may be interested in. For this reason, you can feel pressure fairly often in this kind of environment. If you know this is your personality type, try to combat it by simply focusing more on your school work and getting out when possible so you don’t feel an overwhelming need to impress all the time.

6. Be a social butterfly

Last, but not least, you’ll want to be a social butterfly. This is a great opportunity to network and to potentially meet new people as well that you’ll be friends with for years to come. Single sex dorms can be restricting in this regard, so co-ed opportunities will definitely help you to meet more people and make more connections that will help you now and later on down the road as well.

Again, mixed housing environments, if new to you, can be a bit stressful and difficult to navigate at first. That being said, you’ll get used to the situation sooner rather than later, and before long, you’ll forget what it’s like to live in an entirely segregated environment.

Even so, you’ll want to ensure you’re following proper etiquette to avoid any problems down the road and to ensure that you, and everyone around you, are comfortable in their living spaces.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Campus Life Articles

COLLEGE HOUSING LISTINGS

11 Photos
Fox Meadows
7 Photos
4 Bedroom 4 Bath townhome at The Barracks
83 Photos
Bainbridge Villas
5 Photos
Shared room at the Element
10 Photos
The Crossings
See all COLLEGE Housing Listings

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES

Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Students
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Employers
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format