Roommates fill out a roommate agreement when they move into University Housing. (Emerson Swoger)
Roommates fill out a roommate agreement when they move into University Housing.

Emerson Swoger

EDITORIAL: When ‘roomie’ doesn’t equal ‘bestie’

August 20, 2018

A new school year can often mean new roommates. Whether you’re a freshman sharing your room for the first time or a senior living with another random roommate, almost everyone has dealt with the intolerable roommate drama during their college experience. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your new roommates.  

Your roommate might not be your best friend.

Often movies and TV shows give us expectations of becoming the best of friends with our roommates on the first day of freshman year. The expectations of having perfectly coordinated room decorations and having a sleepover every night with your new college bestie makes living on campus sound like a dream.

Unfortunately, you come to realize that you and your roommate may not get along. Maybe you can’t even find things to talk about. My past roommate rarely spoke to me. My best advice is to go into college expecting a roommate that you can tolerate and try to make the best of it.

Since my roommate didn’t talk to me, I wasn’t distracted when I was trying to study. Find peace with your living situation and do not let it ruin your year. Consider yourself lucky if you have a roommate that respects you and the living space you share.

Be considerate and make compromises.

A lot of college freshmen are used to having a room to themselves and have to learn how to adjust to a roommate. Being considerate and open to making compromises is the best solution to having a good relationship with your roommate.

Think about putting yourself in your roommate’s position. How would you feel if you had to step over someone else’s dirty laundry? Or listen to someone else’s loud music? Be sure to keep your things on your side of the room and clean up after yourself.

I also recommend buying some decent headphones for when you watch Netflix or listen to music. Remember to be mindful of the times you go to bed or wake up. If your roommate has 8 a.m. classes, they might not appreciate you watching TV at 2 a.m.

Now, the same thing applies the other way around. If you have early morning classes, your roommate might want to sleep in, so make sure to be quiet and maybe only turn on a desk lamp when you’re getting ready in the morning. These compromises help set boundaries, which allows for a more comfortable living experience.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your roommates.

Communication is key in all relationships, including the one you have with your roommate. They deserve to know when you’ll be in-and-out of the room, along with your thoughts and feelings.

Some of my biggest issues with my roommates were caused by a lack of communication. I feared bringing up the problems I had with my roommates because I did not want them to be upset with me. Lack of discussing problems causes more problems, so don’t fret when it comes to communicating issues that will better your living space. Remember to respect your roommate’s concerns as well.

Talk to your RA.

When there are problems that cannot be solved from compromise, go to your Resident Advisor (RA). They are there for a reason and can help you in tough situations. However, don’t go to your RA for every small thing, but their guidance can do wonders for you and your roommate’s situation.


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