Going to college for the first time can be one of the most exciting events in your life. Many college students move away from home and live in dorms or apartments with several other students. This can be both fun and frustrating. Since everyone has different habits and lifestyles, it is important to create a system for working together so you can all have a peaceful place to call home away from home. We will examine all of the aspects of having a roommate and how to get along so you can make this the best experience possible.
The first aspect of living together that you will want to establish is setting up boundaries with your roommate(s). Be sure you are not bringing valuable items or keepsakes that you do not want to get broken, damaged or borrowed by your roommate. It is a good idea to only purchase items or bring items from home that you are able to share with your roommate. Obviously, everyone has items they do not wish to share, so it important to discuss this with your roommate.
Talk with your roommate either prior to coming to college or right after about some ground rules you would like to create. Tell them that there are items, such as a microwave or TV, that you are open to sharing with them. Other things, such as a hair dryer or bath robe, you may need to make clear that you are not willing to share. Make certain you ask your roommate which things they are and are not willing to share so you don’t make a mistake and offend your roommate.
Creating Rules with your Roommate
Living in a dorm room comes with responsibilities as well. Keeping the room clean and organized can help you devote more time to your school work (and focus, too, since it’s hard to work in a cluttered, dirty room.) Assign someone to be in charge of taking out the trash, vacuuming the floors and tidying up. If there are shared expenses, talk to your roommate about how you want to split expenses (for example, if you are willing to share groceries in a shared mini-fridge or if you want to label foodstuff.)
Rules also need to be established for having guests come over as well. Whether it is a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, you need to be clear on the rules of who is allowed to visit. This includes discussing who is permitted to spend the night. You want to be sure that you do not invite people over who your roommate might find to be offensive.
Be respectful of your roommate’s wishes. If they have a big test the next day, that is not the time to have friends over and blast loud music. It is a good idea to treat your roommate with respect, even if you are not becoming close friends with them.
Befriending your Roommate
If you are attending college with a friend you already know, you can have the opportunity to be their roommate. Otherwise you might have to work at becoming friends so you can get along with your roommate. Even if you do not see potential to be best friends, being friendly and courteous with your roommate can be helpful in keeping the peace in the dorm or apartment. Make it a point to do things together if you can and help your roommate out if they are having a tough time with something. The best advice is to have good communication with each other so you can be clear on rules and responsibilities and live together as best you can.