Roommates. They can be one of your best friends that lasts for the rest of your life….or not. Chances are at least once in your life roommate troubles are bound to happen. If you can go your whole roommate living life with out problems I am extremely impressed and would love to hear your story! Otherwise, it is a stressful, unhappy and unlucky situation to be in. I’m not saying this will happen to you but I have been there more than once and I want to pass on some things I learned along the way.
Somethings are bound to happen when living with a new person in CLOSE quarters. Annoyance at somethings you are not used to are normal and they are nothing to stress yourself out about. This is my first piece of advice: Don’t sweat the little things. They will happen and chances are there are somethings about you that your roommate gets annoyed with too. It is important to realize that you both have come from extremely different backgrounds, environments and living situations. Even if you knew each other in high school – living with someone is a different situation. If you are understanding to your roommate’s differences, chances are they will be understanding to yours as well.
The next thing to keep in mind is compromise. It’s important for you both to give up certain things to make the other comfortable. This creates a positive living environment and you both will feel better about living with the other. With my first roommate in college, we had different sleeping “requirements.” I needed a fan and no other noise, she needed no fan and the TV on to fall asleep. These are basically opposite sleeping requirements (in my mind, counterproductive.) Eventually, she gave into the fan being on and I gave into the TV being on…for a while. I also utilized an iPod. Once we compromised we both got what we needed to sleep comfortably.
Finally, when you are frustrated try not to bottle up your feelings. It is understandable to not want to deal with confrontation but it eventually will come out. It is important to voice major problems you are having. Things do not have to be turned into a fight. Calmly explaining why you are frustrated and coming up with a solution together can bring you both closer. It will also create an openness between roommates that will help with a positive living experience. If you believe your problem is too big to discuss alone you can bring in a mediator. They can help keep you on track and keep the arguing to a minimum. RA’s or even a mutual friend are good choices for a mediator. Try to choose someone impartial to the situation, i.e. not a boyfriend/girlfriend or a parent.
If you integrate these tips into your roommate relationship, whether it is currently great or needing help, it will aid you in maintaining a positive roommate relationship. If you need further roommate help, please contact your R.A. for further information and help.
Have a great hump day!