College Roommates, The Reality
Freshman year of college is an exciting transition period. Many people are getting used to living away from home for the first time, taking harder classes, and having a roommate. Especially if you’ve never shared a room before, transitioning into living with a roommate can be tricky. We’ve all heard horror stories of roommates who don’t get along, but with these five tips, you are sure to have a great roommate experience!
Start Communicating Early
As soon as you get your roommate assignment, reach out! Whether it is through text, Twitter, or Facebook, it’s beneficial to start the relationship early. This will allow you to coordinate who brings what supplies to the room. You won’t need or have space for two of everything!
Talk About Expectations
Often, your RA (Resident Assistant/Advisor) will have the two of you fill out a roommate agreement. This agreement usually entails things like what time you want the lights to be out, cleaning expectations, and study habits to name a few. Even if your RA doesn’t require a contract, it is a good idea to talk these things out with your roommate. Take the discussion seriously! It’s the little things that add up to roommate problems — open communication is key.
Don’t Expect to Be Best Friends
You should strive to be friends with your roommate, but not best friends. Living with someone means spending a lot of time together, and sometimes you will need a break. It’s easy to latch onto your roommate when you first start college and don’t know many people, but try to branch out! Join a club, sit with a stranger in the dining hall, talk to people in your classes; new friends are part of what makes college so much fun!
Keep Your Social Life in Check
While it is important to make friends, be sure that those friends aren’t in your room when your roommate is trying to sleep or study. Set guidelines on when it is okay to have company in the room and when it is not. Be respectful of each other’s schedules. If you want to hang out with your friends during times when your roommate wants to be alone, go to a shared space like a student center or coffee shop.
Talk About the Bathroom
You and your roommate may have your own bathroom or you might share one with your hall. Either way, you most likely will be sharing a bathroom with at least one other person. Take a shower caddy with your shower supplies to and from the bathroom to ensure that you aren’t leaving your expensive shampoo in the bathroom for someone else to use. Bring a pair of flip-flops to use as shower shoes. No matter how clean the people you share a bathroom with are, bacteria and fungi are sure to exist in the shower. Showering with a pair of dollar store flip-flops can save you from athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
Don’t let little issues build up and create a roommate problem! As long as you stay honest and open, you should have a great experience sharing a room. Be receptive to constructive criticism to ensure harmony in the room.
Getting ready to commit to a college and embrace the roommate experience is exciting! So that you’re ready to tackle this new adventure next fall, spend time during your final high school semester to ensure that your last-minute tasks are complete: keep your grades steady, commit to a college, finish financial aid, and continue seeking scholarships.