Do you have any brothers or sisters? Have you had to share a room with them? If so, how did that work out for you? Did you get along well or did you argue over who was touching one centimeter over the line of separation?
If you got along well with your siblings, then chances are, you’ll have an easier time adjusting to dorm life on campus. If you had a my side/your side deal happening, then brace yourself – because having a brand new roommate in your dorm will definitely take some adjustment! If you were an only child, then you’re about to have the experience of your life and need to start preparing yourself…NOW!
Everyone who’s getting ready to head off for college life for the first time naturally dreads the unknown college roommate that’s waiting for them in their dorm room. You’ve heard the horror stories of roommates from hell and you’re expecting it will happen to you since you’ve never been the lucky type.
That may be true and it might even happen, but not to worry! There are ways around this scenario that with a little research and a lot of action, will have you and your roomie picking out friendship bracelets in no time.
The first and most important thing to always remember, before we begin these tips is that you and only you control your own actions. What you do or don’t do all plays an enormous part in how well you and your roommate will get along. They’re probably just as nervous as you are so the last thing you want them feeling is that you’re the roommate from hell!
Now that that piece of advice has been established, let’s get started with the tips!
This is a two-way street. If you don’t show your roommate respect, he/she won’t show you any respect. For example, let’s say you love your roommate’s clothes and he/she’s just your size. Would you want him/her to start rifling through your closet unannounced and wearing your clothes without asking? Of course not!
The same goes for you. If you hold a weekly study group in your dorm during the time your roommate is taking her daily nap, respect her lifestyle and don’t try to change it. Hold your study group earlier or later; or better yet, hold it in a different location!
Apply the Golden Rule philosophy to everything you say and touch and you’ll be very surprised how much niceness and favors are reciprocated right back at you!
Adapt to change
Every individual has individual tastes whether it’s the TV shows they watch, the foods they enjoy, music they listen to or the way they like to dress or decorate the dorm room. You have to remember that your roommate is not you nor will he/she ever be.
Perhaps you’re a neat freak who hates clutter and smelly things but your roommate could care less about doing last week’s dishes. There are times you will have to suck it up and grab some rubber gloves but if you’ve established any type of relationship with your roomie at all, then you’ll probably be able to begin compromising on things that drive you crazy while learning what you do that drives them crazy.
If your roommate refuses to do the dishes, then you assign them to take care of the dustbins instead or something else that perhaps you don’t enjoy doing. If your roommate likes listening to heavy metal music (that you may despise) until 3:00am, remember that you can’t change them but perhaps you can compromise on the times that they play it or suggest they switch to earphones.
The more adaptable to change you manage, the better chances you have of making a great, new friend!
Keep intimate noise levels down
It’s probably best that this tip doesn’t include any details, yet it’s still one of the biggest problems roommates have with each other to date. If your roommate holds nothing back from his personal life, you might want to kindly suggest the both of you come up with a system to keep both of you comfortable.
Some students use the tie system or door hanger to indicate private time or let their roommates know that during this time, you may want to find something else to do for an hour. Whatever you and your roommate decide, make sure to implement it! The last thing you want are those awkward morning conversations while being unable to look at the other person.
If you are the one needing some alone time, be sure to inform your roommate ahead of time and always remember to keep the hours well before the middle of the night to not wake your roommate up.
Keep the lines of communication open
This is, perhaps, the most important tip of all because without open communication between you and your roommate, all other tips won’t matter. Obviously, there will be times when you and your roommate disagree and differ on morals or opinions but if you’re able to talk with each other, half the battle has already been won!
Keeping communication flowing freely will often catch little problems long before they turn into bigger problems, saving both of you from full-blown arguments and/or fights.
This doesn’t mean get all sappy with each other; it just means be open and honest with each other. Both of you are meeting for the first time with different beliefs, different morals and different cultures so explaining things will allow you and your roommate to understand how the other works without causing awkwardness or more problems.
Even if none of the steps work, it’s okay! Worst case scenario, you can always speak to your university’s officials about changing rooms which gives you a slight chance to try again. If you’re unable to do that, then you’ll have no choice but to make it work for your favor whether that’s putting partitions in the room or staying out until your roommate falls asleep.
Whether you have the best roomie ever or the worst roomie ever, this experience is part of the whole learning and growing process during college life. It requires you to adapt to your surroundings, meet someone new who probably is pretty different than you and learn to work together.
Colleges plan that because every bit of the college experience is there to help you succeed on your own by using your resources along with cognitive and critical thinking.
Think about after your college graduation is over and how you’re going to be using your new college degree: You’ll be entering a new career with an entirely different mindset than the odd jobs you took as a teenager. Your new life will involve bosses that you love and bosses that you hate. If you love your job and the salary is fantastic, you have to find ways to get along with your boss.
It’s all part of the experience! Learn from it because this is one of the most beneficial, non-studious lessons you’ll ever have in your lifetime!
On a different note, we will be announcing our essay winners from Write To Win a little later than planned. We decided to run it locally as well as internationally so we’ve had to move the deadline back. The new date will be announced shortly so if you have any last minute tweaks or essays, hurry up and send them in!
If there’s a contest you would enjoy better or you’d like to try out or simply just have a cool idea, let us know so we can begin working on it. New ideas always provide great new perspectives for everyone so go ahead and put your brain to use!
If we do accept your contest ideas, credit will be given to you unless you wish to remain anonymous.