Learning to Live With Roommates

Learning to Live With Roommates
Learning to Live With Roommates
For many students, college will be the first time they have ever lived with a roommate. With dorm rooms being pretty confined spaces with little room for privacy or personal space, sometimes this can be a difficult adjustment for students unused to having to share space. Some students will become great friends with their roommates and others will merely learn to tolerate each other until the semester is over. There are some ways that you can help make your dorm experience a little more pleasant, whether you’re used to living with someone else or if it’s an entirely new experience for you.

The first rule of getting along as roommates is learning to develop a mutual respect for one another. This means respect for each others’ belongings, space, friends and need for privacy. This can be a tall order for some students but it’s essential to maintaining the peace in your small room and helping roommates develop into real friends or in some cases, just getting along.

Secondly, it is essential to communicate with one another. If your roommate doesn’t know how much certain behaviors irritate you, he or she isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Establishing open communication early on in your dorm room experience can help resolve a lot of the issues that will come up during your year of living together. When living in close quarters, it’s easy to get angry with another person, but you will do yourself a big favor by talking with your roommate in a calm, unargumentative tone so you don’t start fights over small issues. Also, try appreciating all the things that are good about your roommate instead of the things that bother you.

If nothing else, learn to negotiate with your roomie. There will inevitably be times when you want to do different things in the room at the same time or have conflicts in your schedule. Be open and willing to work out arrangements and your school year will be a whole lot smoother.

Students should realize that not every roommate experience will turn into lifelong friendships. If you are your roommate are very different people with different interests, tastes and attitudes, the best that you might hope to accomplish is to establish a kind of stony peace where you coexist in your small dorm space. Yet, occasionally colleges do a great job of matching up students, and you may find that your roommate is an instant friend and someone that you enjoy sharing your space with. Either way, it’s up to the both of you to ensure that your relationship in the room stays in good shape by work and respect from the both of you.

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