College presents many challenges to incoming freshman, including sharing a closet-sized room with someone who may have very different views about what is the appropriate use of your limited space.
Here are some tips and tricks we found useful:
1) Don’t Study.
Well, don’t study without warning your roommate any way. Let your roommate know in advance when you expect silence.
Don’t hesitate to ask your roommate to be quieter. You are at school to learn, and they will probably expect some quiet time to study as well.
If you do your best to be quiet when your roommate is studying, they will most likely return the favor.
2) Don’t Poke the Bunny.
Find out what your roommate’s pet peeves are and avoid them. While your roommate may be shockingly oblivious to the smell of their dirty socks, the sight of your dirty dishes on the dresser may push them over the edge.
Your roommate may not appreciate courtesies that seem essential to you and may expect courtesies you think are unnecessary.
Be sure to identify what you each expect in the way of personal space and cleanliness early in the semester to minimize these differences.
3) Don’t Bottle Things Up.
While it is important for you to identify your roommate’s pet peeves, it is equally important for you to clearly and calmly communicate about the issues that set you off.
If you roommate does something that bothers you, do not talk to them while you’re angry. Do talk to them as soon as you can, instead of letting them repeat the action that bothered you.
It is possible your roommate has no idea they’re bothering you and that your irritation at a repeated offense will feel totally unjustified to them.
4) Don’t Sexile Your Roommate.
Sexile-eviction from your room upon the arrival of your roommate’s significant other-can be a terrible inconvenience, especially if you want to sleep or study for a test.
In order to avoid this misfortune, be sure to give your roommate warning when your significant other will be visiting and make it clear you expect the same warning from them.
Discuss when it is appropriate for one roommate to have the room to him or herself and when it is important for you to have access to the room.
5) Don’t Only Look Out For Number One.
Always pay attention to the way your actions will affect your roommate.
If you look out for yourself first, your roommate will probably put him or herself first too.
If you think about the small things (being quiet in the morning or when your roommate looks particularly studious, cleaning up your messes, etc.), your roommate will probably be considerate of your comfort as well.
6) Don’t Go it Alone.
Talk to your roommate! If you cannot stand your roommate, it’s possible you simply need to discuss the things that are bothering you.
If, after you have given your roommate a fair chance, it becomes clear they are not willing to work at getting along, request a new roommate. Several people changed roommates during their freshman year of college with no hard feelings on either side.