It is exciting to finally get away from home and live alone. You can make your own decisions about how to dress, what to eat, and so on. New freedom has been found, and it is incredible to be able to spread your wings.
However, the first time many people live alone is when they go to college. Not only do you live alone for the first time, but you deal with the stress of college, and you often have to live with a roommate. Usually, the roommate is a stranger who is in the same year as you in college. For whatever reason, you are assigned to live together for the whole year.
Now, this does not have to be a bad thing. Many friendships have begun by being put together in the college dorm room, and they can last the rest of your life. But you have to remember that everyone comes from a different place with different preferences and it is always a possibility that there will be some disagreements. Here are some tips to have a great relationship with your roommate.
Set the rules
If you have not already done so, start talking with your roommate immediately and establish some ground rules. It is always easy to correct the problems if you agree on what to expect from each other.
Keep your expectations realistic
At some point, you have to recognize that you are sharing a space, so you will have to compromise. Whenever there is a conflict or a problem, be ready to communicate and work together to move forward.
Do not assume
Talk to your roommate about how to share items such as clothes, food, and cleaning supplies. Do not assume that you are on the same page. Instead, have a conversation about your living situation and, if both agree, establish guidelines to avoid future conflicts and misunderstandings.
Do not be passive
If your roommate does something that upsets you or takes over the room, do not wait to see if they do it again. Act, be firm, and say something. Keeping quiet in the hope of changing things will only prolong the suffering, and the problem will continue to get worse.
Mutual understanding is the key
Most schools have agreements that roommates can sign that include rules that each of them agrees to follow. For instance, you can decide as a team if want to allow guests overnight. Have a fair discussion about your lifestyle and the rules you want to impose.
Do not hold grudges
When a conflict occurs, talk about your differences. Disagreements can seem traumatic when they happen, especially when feelings are hurt, but the conflict must be resolved. Let your roommate know if there is an issue but do not hold it against them for long.
Use your resources
It’s always good if you can solve your disagreements on your own, but campus staff is available to make your time on campus as trouble-free as possible. They are often trained in conflict resolution to help you solve the problems facing college students. Think of it as a valuable resource to help in the case you have issues in your dorm room.