Hello lovelies! Today I am sharing some advice on how to get along with a roommate in college! For some of you, this may be your first time sharing a room or apartment with someone else, so you may have found this to be a difficult and confusing new experience. Even if you have experienced rooming with someone else in the past, having a roommate in a college dorm or apartment can always present new obstacles or challenges that you may not be expecting. However, it is totally possible to have a happy, healthy relationship with your roommate(s), as long as you make the effort to create a positive environment for you all to live and grow in! While it’s true you may not be best friends right away, or may not even be friends at all, you can at least make your living situation a friendly one – with these tips!
The number one way to create a healthy environment + healthy relationship is to be open to communication. Talking through any problems or fears that may arise is the only way to properly handle these situations and work through them properly as roommates. Learn who your roommate is as a person so that you can begin to develop a real level of respect for them and reach a point of understanding.
Create a roommate agreement
Many college dorms require roommates to answer questions and sign agreements which state what type of behavior is allowed in your room and what you are okay with. If your university doesn’t do this, you should consider creating your own roommate agreement within the first few weeks that detail your agreeements on issues such as maintenance/cleaning, quiet hours, and having guests over. There are many things you need to take in consideration when sharing a space with someone – what time you both go to sleep/wake up, whether you need complete quiet to study, if music is allowed, who is in charge of cleaning and when – and these can be answered with a well-thought out roommate agreement.
Going along with the previous idea, make sure you clearly set your own boundaries in regards to your personal items and comfort level. If you don’t want your roommates to share your clothes, for example, make sure to tell them this at the start rather than allowing these small annoyances to cause serious conflict later on.
Ask if _____ is okay
Never assume that any behavior will be acceptable to your roommates. People grow up in completely different environments and situations, so the acceptability of opening a window to one person can be a major contention point for another. Especially when it comes to situations such as having overnight guests and family visits, make sure to give advanced warning and ask if the behavior is alright to avoid upsetting your roommates unnecessarily.
Any healthy relationship is created through compromise. Instead of staying stuck in your opinions and your way of doing things, discuss with your roommate both of your ideas and find middle ground. Remember that your roommate(s) is just trying to learn and enjoy college like you!
As you move forward into the new year, remember these tips as you meet your roommate(s) and situations arise. While there is no such thing as smooth sailing all the time, any problems can be overcome if you and your roommate makes the effort to communicate and resolve it.
Thanks for reading! Please share if you’ve found this post helpful so other college students can learn as well! And share any thoughts you have in the comments or with me on Twitter @CaseyDonart