You come to college knowing you would be assigned to live with a complete stranger. You are expected to not only get to know each other, but to also adapt to each other’s lifestyles, as you share a small 11-by-15 foot box. Once you add the dressers, desks, and beds, there is not a lot of room left over for personal space.
College should be a place to meet new people. Consider your new roommate as the first step in achieving this. It’s always hard to go up to people and introduce yourself, so now instead of going it alone, you’ll have someone to help you out.
When you have guy/girl problems and need some last minute advice, your roommate can be your savior. When it’s late at night and you are craving Chinese food, you have your roommate to split the order. Whether it’s laughter or tears, or you just don’t want to be alone, your roommate is there to lend a listening ear.
Of course, along with the good aspects of having a roommate, comes the bad. Having a roommate is a total adjustment for most students, who are coming to college after living in their own room for years. As expected in tight quarters, there will be times when your roommate gets on your nerves. Emotions may run rampant and considering you most often see your roommate between classes, the chances of taking the added stress out on them is high.
The key to having a peaceful year is compromise. There are moments in the day when you need your own time. Privacy might be scarce, yet it is an appreciated commodity. Try and schedule out some times when both of you can have the room to yourself for a little bit.
In addition, communication is essential. If you have a problem with your roommate, talk it out, rather than keeping it bottled in.
Even after all of this, there are some times when there is a personality clash, and living together is not a suitable option. In this case, don’t be scared to ask the Resident Assistant for advice, or perhaps even a room change.
Rather than dreading the idea of having a roommate, think of it as an opportunity to make a new friend. In fact, the odds are you’ll get along better living with a complete stranger, than would living with your best friend from high school.