Are you heading off to college soon? Want to avoid having a miserable relationship with your roommate? Would you like to have a positive dorm life experience? Living with a college roommate can definitely be stressful, but it can also be fun and add some spice to your life. It definitely builds character and will help you boost your interpersonal skills. Here are five tips to help you get along with your college roommate.
College Dorm Roommate Tip #1: Be Respectful of Her/His Sleeping Habits
As a general rule, sleeping should be a priority (over studying, watching TV, etc.) in the dorm room. After all, you can study elsewhere, but your roommate can’t really choose to sleep somewhere else. (Well, I guess he/she could, but its so much easier to find another place to study than a place to sleep.) If you need to study, you can do so in your dorm lounge, a coffee shop (if your college doesn’t have curfew), the library, or even the hallway of your dorm.
So, if your roommate needs to sleep, and you want to cram for your midterm tomorrow, please go study somewhere else. As for watching TV and other activities that might keep someone up (cleaning, talking on the phone, etc.) try to be respectful and not do these while he/she is sleeping.
Now, if your roommate does not respect your sleeping habits, and it bothers you, then you should gently confront him/her on this. If that doesn’t help you might want to look for another roommate with a similar sleeping schedule at the end of the semester or when possible.
College Dorm Roommate Tip #2: Never Gossip About Her/Him
Want to lose friends quickly? Just talk about them behind their backs. It is probably the most tasteless thing you can do. If you aren’t sure what gossip is, read “Is It Gossip: 7 Ways to Tell”.
In a nutshell, that means if your roommate has quirky habits or mental health issues, don’t gossip about him/her. There’s no reason why other people in your dorm, and friends need to know all about your roommate’s annoyances. Never badmouth her or him. It just makes you look bad.
Now, if you are are having serious problems dealing with your roommate, then you do need to talk to someone about it. Please choose someone that does not already have a good relationship with him/her. (Ideally, it would be best if the person has never met your roommate and never will.) Do not share these issues with more than 2 people. If you need to, seek counseling from your college counseling center.
College Dorm Roommate Tip #3: Don’t Use Your Roommate’s Stuff and/or Eat His/Her Food
Unless you have a really closeknit llfe-long friendship, and your roommate truly doesn’t care, do not use his/her stuff or eat his/her food. That means shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, snacks, whatever. It’s just plain common courtesy. If you really want your roommate to resent you and get on your bad side, this is the way to do it!
If your roommate eats your food or steals your stuff, confront him/her about it. If it doesn’t stop, then by all means, switch living quarters when you have a chance.
College Dorm Roommate Tip #4: Always Write Phone Messages Down
Cell phones were pretty much nonexistent in my college life days, and we had to share a phone.and answering machine. If you’re still having to share a phone with your roommate, its wise to be respectful and courteous. One the best ways to truly make your roommate livid is to not write down phone messages and delete ones off the answering machine, without telling him/her about.
It’s an excellent idea to purchase a dry erase board, or even just a good notepad, that you keep in the same spot every time. Even if you know you won’t forget to tell her, its a good idea to write the message down.
College Dorm Roommate Tip #5: Treat Him/Her How You Would Like to Be Treated
I know this sounds trite, but the golden rule applies to roommates too. That means, treat your roommate how you would want to be treated. Would you not want your roommate to consistently use up the hot water every morning? Then consider changing your showering routine, and shower in the evening at times Would you not want your roommate to leave all of his/her dirty clothes on the floor? Then don’t leave your clothes lying around.
At the beginning of the semester (or even best before you move in) ask your roommate his/her pet peeves, Ask him/her what really annoys him/her and how you would like to be treated. Try to be respectful of your roommates wishes.
These are just a few basic tips for having a positive roommate relationship.Having a roommate can be lots of fun, and build character and patience as well. Good Luck!