Posted on April 8, 2016
You’ve started college or university, everything is new and shiny, everything is exciting, you’re going to meet so many new people!
Of course, one of those new people is likely to be your new roommate, someone you are going to be sharing a lot of time and space with over the coming year or so.
You need to get along with this person, so how can you do it?
Well, hopefully you find someone who is like you in terms of personality, someone who shares common interests and can support you in difficult situations. But don’t be desperate if not.
Here are a few tips on how to get along with your college roommates, as well as a few pointers on how to set house rules in your dorm room.
Rome wasn’t built in a day they say, and it’s true in many cases in life. Everyone is going to be a bit nervous or even a little defensive when they start college or university. Some people take a little longer to settle in than others. If you find your new friends in college are a little shy, then they may come across as defensive or cold, but that’s not to say they are that way in reality, they’re just finding their feet. Give it a little time, and don’t expect everything to be roses straightaway; in a week or two, you’ll be getting along like a house on fire, although not literally, of course!
Suggest a night out or a few social activities in the first week of moving in, so you can enjoy relaxing time away from the house and away from college. When dealing with college roommates, you need to find common ground, and being sociable and relaxed is the ideal way to do this. You will probably find that your new friends are wanting to get out and experience the place just as much as you are, but they’re probably waiting for someone else to make the first move.
Whilst you want it all to be fun and relaxed, it’s important to set a few house rules for college roommates, so you know you’re all on the same page, and you’re not treading on any one’s feet, so to speak. If someone wants to share food cupboards, but someone else wants to have private ones, you need to find common ground and set a rule. You also need to have rules regarding cleaning, so nobody is going to get resentful of doing more than the others.
Not everyone wants to talk all the time, and some people may need a little space away from everyone, in order to get their work done, to speak to friends and family at home, and to basically chill out and have a little ‘me’ time. This is perfectly normal, so don’t get offended if your new roomie decides to lock themselves away for an hour or two; appreciate everyone’s need for space and you should get along fine.
One of the best pieces of advice when dealing with college roommates is to sort out any problems quickly, and not to let them fester. You’ve been thrown together, when perhaps you wouldn’t have chosen to live together otherwise, so of course, there are going to be differences in opinion or problems that occur from time to time. Sit down and talk about them, and don’t turn the smallest thing into a slanging match – this means you will be able to smooth out any choppy waters, without it turning into World War Three.
Getting along with your new roommate is about give and take – you need to recognise differences. Of course, it’s not going to be plain sailing all the time, but the key is to be adult about the situation and see it as the great opportunity to gain a lifelong friend.