From leaving behind your friends and family to adjusting to the idea that you will not come home to a freshly cooked meal every night, the thought of going away to college is stressful for many incoming freshman. Learning how to be on your own and making decisions for yourself all comes as part of the freshman experience. With that comes the fear of sharing a room with a stranger that you are randomly assigned to live with. Though it may seem stressful and uncomforting, college is ultimately what you make of it, and living with a random roommate is not always as bad as it is made out to be. With that being said, here are some important tips to assure that you and your roommate have the most comfortable living situation possible!
- Create a system that works for the both of you, from the beginning! Nothing is more annoying than sharing a space with someone who has a completely different style of living from you. The last thing you want is to live with someone who prefers to study with the lights on at 3 a.m. on a Monday night while you are sleeping a few feet away (trust me I’ve been there). During the first week of school, discuss any preferences that you may have as far as having a “lights out” schedule for weeknights and weekends, having friends over the room and creating some sort of a cleaning schedule.
- Be respectful of your roommate’s belongings and clean up after yourself! After using the bathroom, kitchen or other common areas in the dorm, it’s always very important to clean up after yourself. A sink full of your own dirty dishes will not clean itself, and may definitely result in an unhappy roommate. The best thing to do in this situation is to clean anything before it becomes an issue. Also, make sure to ask when borrowing anything of your roommates. Although it may not seem like a big deal to borrow a pair of scissors or a pair of shoes, it’s always best to ask.
- Never keep frustrations to yourself. If your roommate is doing something that is bothering you, speaking up about it may be one of the most important things. Don’t be afraid to confront a roommate if he or she is doing something that is affecting your life. Bringing it up before the problem evolves is one of the most important things, and you will be thankful that you prevented an even bigger situation from happening.
- Take interest in each other’s lives; make an effort to hangout! Your roommate may not be your best friend, but it is important to maintain some sort of relationship, as you will be living together for a full year. If possible, schedule a night during the week where you can meet up for dinner or study together in the library as a way of spending some time together. This way, there can be more of a connection between the two of you, which can ultimately lead to a better living situation.
Following these tips can create a better freshman year living situation. With all of the stress that comes with going away to college, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a living situation that causes more stress than reassurance.