bachelor pad 2
So you're a young collegiate woman and you've decided to live off-campus. Good for you! You'll have a better quality of life without the restrictions of dorm-room living. Wait — you're living with guys? Don't you know they're filthy creatures who don't clean up after themselves and leave a trail of Doritos everywhere they go?!

Well, take it from me, a single woman living harmoniously with three dudes in a fixer-upper of a house we've affectionately dubbed "The Groovepad": they won't make that much of a mess, they're more likely than female roommates to respect your space and girly things, and despite the naysayers, you will survive. The part about the trail of Doritos is totally true, though.

Still, it's not all cutesy and sunshine like that upcoming Zooey Deschanel show The New Girl either. Your three guy roommates aren't going to be complimenting your dresses and giving you advice about boys while you prance around and sing. Hell to the no. But when you've had a rough day, you can bet one of them will be there with an ice-cold brew, and if you get dumped, they will punish that guy the best way they know how — by calling him ugly and/or stupid and banishing him from all future house parties. It's all very sweet.

To get you through the not-so-sweet times — the grease-coated pans put away in cabinets, the copious amount of wires and cables that come with having four video-game systems, the drunken late-night disturbances — I've compiled some advice. Here are my tips to letting go of your control-freaky tendencies and living harmoniously with your brand-new, schlubby male roommates:

ACCEPT THEY WON'T DO IT "THE RIGHT WAY" When it comes to housework, don't waste your time demonstrating how to do it properly, especially when it comes to doing dishes. Appreciate the fact that they at least try to chip in, unlike that entitled princess of a roommate you had sophomore year. Don't bother trying to teach them to use hot water or use less dish soap — they're not going to listen. Just let it go and rinse everything again before you use it. They mean well.

SCAN THE HOUSE FOR DRUGS If you're living with men in their late teens or early 20s, it's likely they enjoy a little smoke with their six hours of video games daily. It's even more likely that they'll leave their drug paraphernalia out in the open: in the living room, in the kitchen, on full display on the front porch. Add "hide the bowl and bag of weed" to your morning routine, and get fast at scanning the room and throwing things in drawers, because landlords and family drop-ins happen unexpectedly. You don't want your father to be even more upset with this living situation.

BE A PEACH Expectations for you as a roommate are significantly lower than when you lived with other girls. Bring home burgers and fries or a bucket of KFC one Sunday night (or every Sunday night) and your dude roommates will be forever grateful. It's really that easy to be named "Best Roommate Ever." This is the time to ask for any handyman-type work or cleaning that needs to be done around the house.

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