How to Keep Roommates

Moving away from home to go to college is an exciting time for youth: you get more freedom, barely any curfews, and you get to meet a lot of new people while studying topics you actually enjoy. Not until you move in do you realize that you will be sharing a very close space with someone else that you may not even know. It is always important that regardless of who they are you should both set some ground rules. Once classes actually start and you immerse yourself into college culture with so much to do in so little time (creating stress) you will be thankful for this. This will help you both by not increasing any tension that is already in your life, further allowing you and your roomie to bond.

Here are some suggestions in keeping the lines of communication open to decrease the chances of fights and the potential move-outs!

First, set boundaries. Be sure to sit down with your new roomie(s) and make a list of items that are your guidelines to living. Perhaps you don’t like music too loud when you sleep or early morning to late-night visitors in your room. Maybe you don’t like to share your hair products or printer. Whatever the case may be, say it.

Secondly, put up a white board or cork board where you can leave each other notes. The type of note can vary from asking your roommate to turn off the lights when they are the last one to leave or even just a word of encouragement for their upcoming exam they are stressing about. Placing a comment board up in a frequented location will allow you to talk if you don’t feel comfortable saying it to their face or if your schedules are completely opposite and you never see them.

Thirdly, keep your end of the bargain. Such a small sharing space will allow you to get to know your roommate really, really well, thus you will get to know their hot buttons. Even if there is an ongoing rival, don’t push their buttons. You are a young adult and it is best to respect them and their space. This piece of advice will really help you the rest of your life because it will help you deal with conflict in a relationship maturely and it may save it in the long run!

Fourth, ask help from a counselor or your Resident Advisor/Assistant (RA). These people are specifically put in a college setting so that you can directly access them. They are there to help you in any situation you may find yourself in. Don’t be afraid to ask them to mediate for you and your roommate, especially if it is an issue that you can’t handle yourself. For instance, if you were to find out that your roommate is highly depressed and perhaps suicidal a counselor and RA will know what to do to help.

Congratulations on getting into college and best of luck with your new living situation! Enjoy college because it does open up so many opportunities for you to experience new things and meet new people.

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