Today’s College 101 post is all about roommates. Going into freshmen year and awaiting to see who you will be living with for the next year is easily one of the scariest parts of going to college. I feel like there are three types of roommates: a person that becomes a close friend, someone who you get along with, but don’t have a relationship beyond that, or someone that you cannot stand.
I lucked out when I was assigned my roommate freshmen year. The girl I lived with became one of my best friends and we have lived with each other every year since. I think the main reason why we got along so well was because our personalities balanced and not to mention we were aware of roommate etiquette, which goes a long way! You can live with one of your best friends, but if either one of you is not considerate of the other’s space, tension builds and that can ruin friendships (I’ve seen it many times). In a perfect world, everyone would be assigned the perfect roommate that becomes your best friend and that you get along with without any problems. However, that isn’t always the case but truth is, you don’t have to be bffs with your roomie to get along and have a good school year. Below are my tips for getting along with your roommate:
Girls have a tendency to talk behind each other’s backs when they have a problem instead of going straight to the source. I am definitely guilty of this, but since I live in a house with five other girls, I am getting better at talking to the person I have a problem with instead of running my mouth. During stressful times in the semester tension does build and what I’ve learned is to either be open about a problem when it happens or take time for yourself to cool off and figure out if it actually is a big deal.
You can’t teach an old dog a new trick when it comes to respect. From experience I have learned that there are people who will not respect your time or space and as tough as it is, most times you can’t change them. Although there are roommates out there that are not respectful, it is not as common as you think. My tip for you is to do your part. You can’t control them, so do your best to be respectful when it comes to noise, having the lights on when they want to go to bed, bringing guests over, respecting their belongings, etc. Establish rules at the beginning of the semester to compromise on these things. It is your room too so don’t be afraid of speaking up when you are not comfortable with something.
You have to remember that it is your roommate’s space as much as it is yours. Compromising goes a long way and as cliche as it sounds, it prepares you for the real world. I have had to compromise plenty of times with my housemates and even though sometimes I still don’t think it is fair, you just have to grin and bear it. If your roommate wants to do something that you don’t agree with, speak up and try to come to a compromise that you both are okay with.
Take Time for Yourself:
It is a no brainer that you may become annoyed with your roommate at some point during the year. You ARE living in a tiny room with someone you met the day you moved in for goodness sake! It is perfectly okay to want to get away for a weekend or take an evening to yourself. Set up your laptop in the student center with some snacks and watch Netflix or Skype your friends from hometown if you’re getting on edge. Everyone needs alone time and even though when you’re in college that isn’t as easy as it was when you lived at home, it is definitely possible and necessary!