Living with a roommate
Living with a roommate can be a very new experience for those who go away to college, even if they are used to living with siblings. Unlike siblings, a roommate starts out as a stranger, who may not act in ways that you would expect. Learning to live with people who are different from you is a part of both attending college and growing up in general.
Here are some helpful tips to help you adjust to one of the new people you’ll be interacting with the most.
- Be friendly. In freshman year, your roommate will likely be in a similar position to you: branching out in an unfamiliar place for the first time. Forming a friendship with your roommate can provide you with someone to speak to on a daily basis who is going through the same things that you are.
- Set up some ground rules. Having a conversation about you and your roommate’s expectations for how things in the room should be run can help you avoid fighting or unpleasant surprises. Things like alarms, personal sleep or study schedules, tidying up the room and significant others should all be discussed.
- Be considerate. While you may have had your way of doing things at home, everything changes when you are living with someone else. Make sure you keep their perspective in mind and think about how you would react if you were in their shoes. For example, dirty laundry all over the place may have been acceptable in your own room, but would you want to walk in and find someone’s stained shirt on your things?
- Remain open to conversation about problems. Many times, a disagreement with a roommate can be solved by simply talking it out. Like previously mentioned, a new roommate will be learning how to live with you just as much as you are learning to live with them. If there is a problem, do not expect your roommate to suddenly know if something is bothering you. Speak to them about it. Not only will it help resolve the issue, but it will help them learn not to do the same thing in the future. When speaking to them, do not approach them like they are trying to anger you. Instead, calmly let them know what the problem is and how you feel about it, while also letting them explain their side of the story.
These tips are only a starting point for how to interact with your new roommate. Everyone is different, so the best way to learn how to live with your roommate is to start living with them. As time goes on, you will learn more about them and how to mesh their lifestyle with your own. Remember to remain positive and open to living with a new person, as well as all of the other new experiences you will have in your college journey.