There are many exciting experiences that come with moving away to college, one of which is getting a roommate. While many become best friends with their roommate, others don’t have as easy of a time. Here are some tips on how to survive tensions or unexpected problems with your roommate.
Expectations And Boundaries
Whether you have experience living with a roommate or not, every person is different. When moving in with your roommate, you’re going to want to have a conversation about expectations. Are you a morning person or night owl? Are you a clean person or a messy person? Are you open to having people stay over or would you prefer not to? These are only a handful of questions you’re going to want to discuss with your roommate. When living with another person, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re sharing a space together. While you might be comfortable with certain things, they may not. Although it’s important to meet someone else’s wishes, it’s also important to compromise. For example, say want to have a group of friends come over, but your roommate is studying for a test. Rather than disrupting your roommate’s concentration, see if you can move your get together to a later time or find another place to meet. In addition to setting expectations and learning to compromise, you’re going to want to set boundaries as well. For some people, sharing certain necessities isn’t always an option. For example, your roommate may be comfortable with sharing food and drinks, but not so comfortable sharing clothes or makeup. If this is the case, be sure to not push the limits and take what isn’t yours. You wouldn’t want them to go against your wishes, so why go against theirs? By setting expectations and boundaries, you’re able to not only learn more about your roommate but find ways to live in harmony.
When living with a roommate, there’s a good chance you’ll have differing opinions, views, and ways of doing things. If you find yourself disagreeing on certain topics, try to keep in mind that people may think differently from you. Throughout college, you’re going to come across people who may have opposing views in regard to religion, politics, etc. Rather than dismissing their thoughts and opinions, try to consider their point of view. Depending on how someone is raised, they may hold positions that you think are outrageous. Even then so, it’s best to respect one another’s opinions and agree to disagree. Arguing with your roommate about certain subjects will only cause friction, resulting in awkward tension.
Communication Is Key
Even if you and your roommate are the best of friends, there are going to be times when you get on each other’s nerves. If this happens, be sure to communicate how you’re feeling. Nothing will make a situation escalate more like throwing passive aggressive jabs or giving each other the silent treatment. If you’re unhappy about something, let your roommate know. For example, if it drives you insane that your roommate leaves their dirty socks on the floor, try to ease into the conversation and communicate solutions. For example, you could say, “Hey, would you mind throwing your socks in the hamper next time?” This method is ten times better than grabbing their socks off the floor and throwing them onto their bed. By communicating how you feel, your roommate will get a better idea of what does and doesn’t bother you. If you choose to stay silent, your roommate will only continue to annoy you without even knowing it. Although expressing how you feel can be a bit uncomfortable, it’s better to nip it in the bud and be honest with your roommate.
Meet With Your RA
Sometimes, living with a certain person doesn’t always work out. If you’ve tried to communicate your feelings, but your roommate refuses to change their ways, it might be best to request a roommate change. Believe it or not, roommate changes happen more often than you may think. If you’re thinking of changing roommates, be sure to discuss this option with your Resident Assistant. It’s your RA’s job to make sure to offer options and solutions to problems you might be facing. It’s not uncommon for RA’s to mediate a conversation between two roommates in order for both people to hear both sides. If you’re still unable to resolve your issues, your RA can guide you through the process of switching rooms or finding another person to live with. Nothing is worse than coming back to a room filled with everlasting tension. While some people are able to continue their friendship after moving out, other’s prefer to cut ties altogether. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to do what’s best for you. There’s no shame in finding another roommate or switching to a different building, in fact, it may be the best solution.