For your first year in college, you’ll either be placed in the dorms on campus or student housing apartments. You may have a choice of having your own room, but at the very least you’ll have a few roommates that you won’t know at all upon moving in.
How do you know if you’ll all “click” and get along? Unfortunately, there’s no for sure secret to make sure you guys will all become fast friends. However, there are some things you can do to help make this process and the year go by more smoothly.
If you choose to live in the student housing apartments (SHA) they are located off campus, but you’re still technically referred to as living on campus through the school system. And yes, even though the word “single” is there, don’t let it throw you off. You will have roommates still.
If you’re one of the lucky ones you may get your own room in the dorm, but it is definitely more likely if you decide to live in SHA. This will help when it comes to studying in a quiet room and not interfere with a roommate’s sleeping cycle. You can control the environment around you without any controversy from roommates.
What you DO have to share is the common area space. This would include your kitchen, dining room and living room area. This also goes for students who have to share a room with another person in the dorms. However, you’re more likely to just have a living room area and no kitchen or dining room area.
In SHA, for the common areas that you’re sharing, be respectful of each other’s space. When you first move in designate specific areas in the kitchen that will belong to each one of you for you dishes and any food. As for the fridge, label your food with your initials so everyone knows what food belongs to whom.
If you plan on staying up late in the common areas, for SHA or dorm rooms, be respectful of those who are trying to sleep in their rooms nearby. You also have neighbors that will get easily annoyed if it’s 2 in the morning and you’re blasting music or the TV while studying. Try to keep it quiet for those around you late at night, and this will also help you to concentrate better.
Know Your Limits
Talk to your roommates ahead of time how they feel about inviting guests over, what they want the temperature set at for the rooms, and even what their morals and beliefs are (this one only when you feel more comfortable asking them that type of question). Don’t act like you know everything about them right off the bat no matter how well you seem to get along right after moving in; you may step on some toes if you speak out about an issue or do something you assume they’ll be ok with.
Issues Concerning Roommates
When you first move in, everything may seem perfect with your roommates, like it was a match made in heaven. However, sooner or later an issue will come up and you’ll need to confront your roommate(s). It could be as simple as forgetting to lock the front door when they leave to having strangers over to your place without consent from you. My best advice for this is to talk to them about it immediately before it continues to happen over and over again.
For the smaller issues that aren’t as big of a deal to you you may consider taking a less confrontational approach if you prefer that method. My roommates and I all went together and bought a white board to hang on the fridge when we first moved in. This way, if we have a small issue we’d like one of us to know we can write it down and they’ll see it the next time they walk in the door.
Make sure if you decide to do this that you place the white board in an appropriate place so it’s easily viewed.
I would NOT recommend this for the bigger problems you may have. You may need to have a sit down and discuss how you’re feeling with a certain situation rather than just write it down for your roommates to view later on. Just make sure they take you seriously whether it’s written down on a white board or spoken directly to them.
Kali White is a junior at the University of California, Davis pursuing a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Her goal is to have a career working for a publication company writing and editing. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, reading, playing and listening to music, and travelling.