One of the things people dread when it comes to going off to college is having to share their personal space in a dorm. You hear the horror stories about roommates and you don’t know what kind of roommate you’ll be getting. Well, I’ve been there. I’ve experienced the best and worst of roommate situations, so I figured I would put together a few tips that might help you in this situation.
- Don’t expect to be “besties”
I’d heard this piece of advice the summer before I went off to college and I definitely think it helped. I went into my dorm experience not expecting to be friends with my roommate. It allowed a natural relationship to form and we became best friends and roomed together for four years. We bickered and had our share of petty drama, but we’ve made it through the last 10 years. She is truly my best friend!
- Establish who will bring what
You should have access to your roommate’s contact information; get in touch with them as soon as possible to not only introduce yourself, but to also see what they are willing to bring. It’s a little awkward to have 2 TVs and 2 refrigerators in a small space, but I’ve seen it happen. If you know how to share you shouldn’t have a problem.
- Set boundaries
You’re going to be sleeping two feet away from this person so you might wanna get down to the nitty gritty that first day. Find out if they’re a night owl or morning person, if they take naps during the day, if they have allergies, their study habits, how often they will have friends or boyfriend/girlfriend over. Be honest and be open to compromise.
- Try not to be judgmental
You can’t expect your roommate to be just like you. You may have a roommate who is open sexually, but try not to slut-shame them. If it makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Let them know it’s coming from a place of discomfort not judgment. You have a right to be comfortable in the room too.
- Learn how to handle confrontation
Having a roommate isn’t always easy, you’re going to bump heads at times. instead of talking about each other behind each other’s backs, talk things out. If you don’t want to say anything to the person’s face write them a letter. Sounds cheesy, but a lot can be said in a letter that might be misconstrued in a text. If talking it out doesn’t help talk to a neutral mutual friend, but be careful this may backfire. That “neutral” friend may turn out to be a two-faced conniving b***h who’s sitting back enjoying the drama; yeah, I’ve definitely been through this situation. It may be best to take things to the RA before anything escalates.
It would be nice if everyone could be “besties” with their roommates, but we don’t live in a perfect world. In my opinion everyone should experience having a roommate. It teaches you a lot about life, other people, friendships, and yourself. If it doesn’t work out, there’s always next year or even next semester. Room changes can be made and you are not obligated to have the same roommate year after year. My last piece of advice is to try to stick it out, you just might end up with a lifelong friend.