It’s that exciting time of the year where many of us are either beginning our college journey or returning for another year. One of the most exciting parts of college is getting to meet your new roommate. However, problems can arise when you take two or three strangers and put them in a teeny, tiny room together. Having a roommate can be an absolutely wonderful experience. You get a new friend and your roommate can help you adjust to college life. I’m sure many of you have heard horror stories of roommates constantly sexiling each other, leaving strewn Top Ramen packaging all about or turning a dorm room into Party Central in the middle of finals cramming. Here are a few tips of what you can do in the beginning of the year so that you will have a great relationship with your new roomie!
- Make a “Contract”
A lot of RAs suggest you do this with your roommate within a few days of arriving. Maybe have a lights out curfew of 11pm if one of you has an 8am class. If you share your bathroom, make a schedule so whoever needs a shower before class can have access to it. Having a written set of rules makes it both clear of what you expect from each other. This will avoid conflicts (like having to tell your roommate to turn off the lights at 1am because you are trying to sleep). Both of you sign and that you agree to the rules. If you have conflicts you can refer back to the contract and say this is what we expected each other to do, so you need to follow the rules.
By doing this, you will be able to know when you can have the room to yourself or when your roommate might be in the room. It’s hard to have your alone time when you are sharing a small space. If you know when your roommate will be in class or maybe at a club meeting then you can know when you will have some downtime all to yourself. It also helps for you to know each other’s schedules so you don’t bring people over when someone is just returning from class or if your roomie is working on something. Just print out your schedules and post them in the room somewhere. Also, knowing what classes they are taking is great conversation starter if you and your roomie aren’t super close. It will also be nice to ask how their Chemistry class went that day. It’s always nice when people ask about your day, and by doing this you will get roommate points.
It’s not fun to have to be confrontational. If your roommate is doing something that bugs you, it’s better to bring up the issue with her rather than being passive aggressive. You will get upset if she doesn’t take the hint and she will be upset by your attitude towards her. Communication is key here. Don’t be afraid to confront your roommate if she is upsetting you. Likewise, let her know if she has a problem with something you are doing that she should feel welcome to discuss it with you. Be flexible at first, though. You are trying to adjust and are not sure how each other lives. So, if she accidentally wakes you up in the morning, let it go the first couple of weeks. It’s tough living with another person. Everyone is bound to make a couple of mistakes in the beginning. However, if they are always waking you up or something else, then you should confront them and ask them to maybe be a little quieter in the morning.
Having a roommate is exciting and scary. Follow these few tips so you can have a smooth-sailing relationship with your new roomie. Good luck everyone and I hope you have an amazing school year!