7 Tips for Creating Roommate Bliss
College is a time for personal growth, and having a roommate can be a part of that experience. But how do you navigate the good, bad, and (sometimes) ugly times with a roommate? Follow these seven tips for smooth sailing:
1. Set expectations from the outset. So there are no surprises, and early as possible, ask each other:
• What annoys you the most?
• Do you have any habits or preferences that we should know about?
• Are you a night owl or early riser?
• Do you prefer noise or quiet when studying?
• What are your deal breakers when it comes to sharing a space?
You may need to touch base with your roommate about these questions at different times over the course of the semester. And other questions may arise. Keep the lines of communication open, and be honest with each other about preferences and ways to compromise.
2. Speak up. Perhaps your roommate borrowed your clothes, or maybe ate your favorite snack without asking. Address any concerns you have sooner rather than letting them sit and build into a blow-out fight. Misunderstandings happen. Move on and try to be accommodating without being a doormat.
3. Be mindful of guests. Maybe your roommate is a bit of a homebody and isn’t used to having a lot of visitors or commotion. Note his or her preferences and plan around them. Hosting a study session in your communal space might not be a good idea. The same goes for overnight guests. A little respect can go a long way. Don’t assume you can allow just anyone to enter your shared space without prior consent.
4. Keep safety at the forefront. Theft happens and you don’t want it to happen to you or your roommate. Working as a team, be proactive and keep valuables out of plain sight. Lock your doors and windows and be careful about who you allow to enter and when. Report any suspicious activity to Campus Safety.
5. Maintain a healthy distance. You might hit it off with your roommate right away. This is great, but be careful about spending too much time together. It’s healthy to have a social circle outside of your roommate, and for her or him as well. This shows boundaries and respect for each of you while also expanding your friendship circles. You might find a weekly dinner to catch up is a good way to maintain your friendship.
6. Be open-minded. The beauty of college is that you get to encounter people—like your roommate–who may be different than you in a variety of ways. Be respectful and open-minded when it comes to customs, dress, food, spiritual issues, and other personal aspects. Celebrate and embrace diversity. Ask questions if something makes you feel uncomfortable.
7. Go with the flow. The roommate relationship will grow and evolve as you both do. Sometimes that calls for adjustments to be made. Be comfortable addressing things that unexpectedly come up and do your best to take things in stride. Try to let little things pass instead of causing a rift between you two. Listen to feedback and correct the course if needed.
Remember to pray for your roommate; you may not know if there are other issues that he or she is dealing with. Your roommate experience may lead to lifelong friendship and many happy memories.
Are you ready to complete the next step in the enrollment process? Connect with your admissions counselor to move ahead in your college journey. Get ready to build great friendships in the year ahead!