Your careless high school life is coming to an end and soon you are going to enter a college. You are excited about your future studying, but have you thought about your new roommate?
There is a lot of guidance on how to write an essay for entering a college and how to behave there. But have you been interested in behaviour with a new neighbour in your room?
It is wonderful if you already have experience of living with other people in one room in a camp. It is amazing if you easily find a common language with strangers. But what if you have never lived outside your own room? What if you have difficulties with making friends?
If it is like this, then you have one more thing to be excited about. Do not rely on the movies about college life — it is only a movie and is aimed to entertain you. Real life is different, and you can’t fast-forward to the end of your studying because of unbearable life with your roommate. Do not worry too much!
Everything can be better than you expect and your unknown (yet) roommate may become your best friend forever. In any way, it is not an easy thing to share a room or an apartment with strangers. To help you avoid problems and find ways out of difficult situations, this, would-be, guidance has been created. Let us begin!
Who is your roommate?
It would be better if your best friend won’t be your roommate. Even if you spent every weekend at each other’s place, sharing one room every day is totally different. You may pay no attention to the mess in his/her room while you spend a night there, but can you stand it every day in a room you have to live in too?
It is good if you both are used to go to bed at the same time, but if no? You will have to discuss these differences in habits and find a solution. In any way, there will be tension in your relationships, which is why do not put at risk your friendship. Save your easy and fun communication and do not room with each other before you start the second year at college.
It is far more likely that your roommate will be a random person, you have never seen before. On every side, this is for your best. You are both strangers to each other and will need to find a way to coexist. When you take rooming with an unknown person as a deal, it would not be difficult to find a common language with each other.
What to Expect?
If you have a possibility to become familiar with your future roommate or flatmate in advance, it would be very good. Thus, you may ask about the following things:
- hobby (what if he/she likes raising spiders?);
- favorite music (how do you like heavy metal at midnight?);
- gastronomic passions (what if you decide to cook together?);
ways of leisure time spending (what about watching movies together or you should buy earphones right away?)
Make an Agreement
It may sound weird but making an agreement with your roommate is a very important step you need to take to live more or less comfortable far away from home. This is not about an officially notarized, long and complicated document. Draw up some the most essential points you both will to adhere to.
Specify the time it is allowed to have guests in your room. It may happen that your roommate adores parties and can have fun till the morning, but you need to study hard to pass the exams next week. So, it is necessary to set the rules for other people presence in your common room. Specify the time of turning the light off. You should also make some mutual agreement on the video sharing sites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. You should also know how to skip hulu ads and decide when to watch and when not to avoid disturbing each other.
Chose together whether the cleaning of your temporary abiding place should be carried out by turns or together. Set the boundaries of common and personal space, which means you should separate the shelves in the refrigerator, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the closet as well as the bookshelves.
All these things are trivial and may seem futile, but believe, they can cause very big problems and conflicts between you and your roommate.
Respect, Honesty and Empathy
These are the keys to harmonious living with another person under the same roof. Keep in mind, that you both are individuals and have your own ways of life, expectations and dreams. No one is obliged to please you unless he or she wishes so. It does not matter how incompatible both of you are, you must respect each other’s feelings and desires.
Do not grab your roommate’s stuff (clothes, cosmetics, mobile phones, tablets, toiletries) and food without permission. You have the right to demand not to touch yours if you don’t like it.
If you do not like or unsatisfied with something, do not ignore the problem. When the right time comes, discuss it with your roommate. Do not expect, that he/she is going to guess about it himself/herself. While discussing the problems, do not scream. Chose the words which won’t be offensive to your partner. Always keep in mind, that your goal is to solve a problem but not to offend a person whom you are going to live together for some more months or years.
When your roommate has a claim against you, be patient, listen and take into account everything he/ says. Even if you are not accordant with your roommate, keep in mind, that you both have different tempers and points of view on the same matter. The issues which seem to have been not serious to you may become a real disaster for another person. Respect your roommate’s opinion and feelings.
Try to help your roommate in everything if you have time for. Take a chance to make something pleasant for her/him. If you make dinner before your roommate comes, this will bring more positive emotions into your life and you will be able to easily solve the problems if any.
Settlement of Conflicts
Before claiming, try to understand why your neighbour has done or said something you didn’t like. Empathy is what you need to learn. Try to walk a mile in his/her shoes and you may understand the reason for his/her actions or words.
Never ask for the third party’s help before clarifying the issue with your roommate. It is unfair if your neighbour will be told by someone that you don’t like rooming with him/her because of a problem he/she does not realize. Be open and honest with the person you share a room with. Whatever occurs, try to reach consensus. Should you fail, try to appeal for outside help.
Rooming with another person brings new experience for you. You check and assess your abilities to coexist and communicate with other people, to live under the same roof with unknown people and to develop a talent of making an agreement with those who have another opinion different from yours.