Sunday, August 19, 2012

College Series Day 15: Roommates

The topic of roommates can be a touchy one, but it doesn't have to be. I know there are a lot of horror stories about bad roommates, and my stories from my Freshman year can definitely be included in that. But, at the same time, there are a couple things to remember going into becoming a roommate that can really influence what your roommate experience is like. Here are a couple roommate tips:

  1. Be open-minded. Whoever you room with is from a totally different family, school, background, etc. They are going to have different views and opinions on things that you may feel strongly about. Have an open mind, and be open to listening to what they have to say. 
  2. Compromise. Because you are probably two very different people, you may have some disagreements. Try to compromise when you two don't see eye to eye. Also, compromising means that each person gains something AND loses something in order to find common ground and solve a problem. 
  3. Don't go into it thinking you and your roommate are going to be BFFs. Either it happens naturally or it doesn't. Don't force it hoping for the best, because it will just leave people feeling resentful and unappreciated. 
  4. Be observant of their schedule. If you can, try and figure out when they like to go to bed, when the like to shower, and how studious they want to be, and then try to plan around their schedule. I'm not saying that you should let them do whatever they want whenever, but if they usually take a nap around 4pm, don't go back to your room at 3:55pm expecting to have a dance party and play loud music. If you can figure out when they usually do things, it can avoid any added drama when you interrupt their schedules. 
  5. Be willing to apologize. If you come in and turn the lights on late at night and they blink confusedly in bed, half asleep, apologize for turning on the light and waking them up. Little things like that can make someone else feel like they are being seen and heard. I know so many people who say that their roommates just kind of pretend like they aren't there, and they don't talk to them, and that can cause a lot of resentment. If you do something wrong, just apologize, don't try to pin it on them. It's not their fault that they were asleep and you turned on the lights. 
I know the biggest thing for me when I was having roommate troubles was that I felt like it was only me and my roommate that were having trouble, but know that you are not alone. There are other people struggling to make it work with their roommates too. Also, if you ever want someone to talk to, just shoot me an e-mail or a message. I always felt like I had no one to turn to when me and my roommate weren't getting along, and I don't want other people to feel like that. Good luck with your roommates! Feel free to share any stories that you have in the comments of you and your roommate that can hopefully help others, or just share some other tips and tricks!

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