Surviving College Roommates

Leaving for college is a difficult experience in itself.  You are leaving your friends, your family and all of the things you are comfortable with.  For many of us, this also means leaving the comfort of your own room.  Many people have to share a room for the first time in college and are unsure of how to deal with this new situation.  While most schools try to put people together that have similar interests, problems can, and do, arise.  It is important to establish boundaries and open communication ahead of time to try and avoid conflict with new roommates.  Below are some tips for surviving your first roommate.

Communication is Key

Be sure to be open about what things bother you and ask your roommate to do the same.  Everyone will be happier if problems are solved right away instead of trying to avoid conflict and just letting the issue build and build.  Having open communication between all roommates will help ensure a happier living arrangement.

Be Clean

Respect the mutual space of you and your roommates.  If you want to keep your bed or your desk messy then that is your choice but the area that is shared between a few people needs to be kept clean.  It is not only courteous, but also more sanitary and keeps everyone happy.

Do Not Ever Borrow Without Asking

While you may think that borrowing a shirt for the night is not a big deal, it could be to that person.  The shirt you decided to wear to the party could have been a gift from a grandmother or ex-boyfriend.  Also, some people keep their belongings a certain way and get frustrated if their things are touched without their knowledge.  For that reason, as a general rule for you and your roommates, do not touch each other’s things without asking.  It will make everyone happy and help avoid fights.

Respect Boundaries

While you may be perfectly happy with your boyfriend staying over every night, your roommate might feel uncomfortable in that situation.  Make sure you and your roommates discuss these issues beforehand so you know what they are okay with and what they are not okay with and then respect those boundaries.

Be Courteous

Be observant of your roommate’s life and needs.  If you know they have an early class, be quiet if you are up late.  By being respectful and caring about their feelings you will likely get similar treatment if you are the one that needs to wake up early in the future.

Be Open to New Things

I am sure you got used to a particular routine while living at home.  That same routine may not be able to happen and you may have to deal with situations that you don’t necessarily like dealing with.  Having an open mind will help you when you are out of your element and you may also discover new things that you love.  College is for learning and growing as a person so let it happen!

Finally, Have Fun

Your roommates should be your best friends.  Have fun with each other and other people you meet while living in the dorms.  College is the best time of your life so don’t let little things bother you and instead enjoy the time you have there.

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Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski is a senior at Central Michigan University studying public relations and English. Laura enjoys being busy, juggling work and school, and has plans to one day spend her time traveling abroad. When not busy, Laura, the middle child of three girls, enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends and family.
Laura Szatkowski

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