Moving in with a roommate might take some adjusting. You need to get along with each other to live and study comfortably. In this article, you’ll find the best tips on how to survive with shared living in college.
1. Complete The Residence Life Questionnaire Honestly
It’s common practice for colleges to place students together based on a residence life questionnaire. If this is true for your situation, do not take this form lightly. The best rule to follow is to be honest when filling it in.
Some might complete it with the idea of the best version of themselves they want to be in college. But this can potentially lead to issues. For example, if you say you wake up at dawn and clean your room every day, you might be paired with a person that actually does that.
Eventually, when you slip back into your habits, this can turn into a point of conflict.
Be honest and state things as they are.
2. Set Your Expectations
You can do this with a roommate or with the help of a Resident Advisor. Talk openly about your expectations and your needs. This might include:
- Household chores;
- Level of noise;
- Shared items and communal areas;
- Specific needs, etc.
There will be times when your interests might not align. But it is essential to set the ground rules right away to avoid conflict. For example, decide on guest hours and days because the presence of a third person can be very distracting when it comes to education.
Imagine you are working on your essay, and your roommate randomly decides to host a movie night. “Well, how am I supposed to write papers then?” – you might ask. There is help out there for all students in need. Professional academic writing services offer writing, editing, and proofreading assistance with any type of college assignment. They can deliver unique and high-quality papers quickly.
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However, it’s important to set the rules beforehand to avoid potential conflict situations. Make sure you both understand and agree on them.
3. Find Compromises
The best strategy for comfortable shared living is finding a compromise. It’s normal if you have different interests and habits. But it is essential to be open to compromise.
For example, you study late, and your roommate goes to bed early as they have football practice tomorrow. You can compromise and study in the lounge. Or you want your bestie to come over often. Create a schedule for when guests are allowed and when they are not together.
4. Talk Things Though Together
This might be obvious, yet a lot of students forget about it. Communication is the key to healthy relationships. So when you have frustrations or problems, talk to your roommate. Do not pile up negative emotions just to have a huge burst later. And do not make plans that will affect you both without the roommate.
For instance, you want to make home improvements or add items to a shared space. This is great, but you need to discuss it together. Or if you are frustrated that they do not take the trash out when you expect them – discuss a schedule of chores and when each one of you is responsible for something.
5. Study Space Outside the Room
It’s always good to have options. Find a good place where you can learn or do your homework besides your primary living space. This way, if you need to give your roommate privacy or you want to have some time alone, you can use it. And switching environments can be beneficial for the learning experience.
For example, students can use:
- College library;
- Dorm lounge;
- Nearby cafes;
- Public parks;
- Any public space on campus.
This way, you’ll always have a place where you can go to get a bit of “me time.” Dorms can be crowded, and sometimes getting out of there is a good thing.
6. Compare Schedules
Another great tip is to get familiar with your schedules or even place them somewhere visible. By doing so, you both know when each one needs to wake up and get ready. You can also see when you will be alone to plan out your work. And you can align chores or shared activities along the schedules.
Based on the schedules, you can also plan to spend some time together.
7. Get to Know Each Other
Although you should not expect to become best friends immediately, it is good to get to know each other. To become closer, roommates can talk and share activities together, for instance:
- Go for lunch;
- Explore campus;
- Decorate your space;
- Get groceries;
- Watch a movie or TV show;
- Participate in extracurricular activities, etc.
Be open-minded and friendly. Even if you come from different environments, you are likely to have something in common. You do not have to become a close friend, but being on good terms definitely helps a lot.
8. If Nothing Works, Request a Change
There are times when people are completely incompatible. Maybe you’ve tried all the tips, and nothing helps find a compromise and common ground. If that’s the case, shared living can turn into a nightmare. You still need a place to be comfortable, safe, and able to work on an assignment or test preparation.
In case of unsolvable conflict, consider talking to the Resident Assistant about it. If you are worried about your roommate’s mental health, reach out to the college staff. And the last option is to request a room change. But be sure to make the mate aware before you do it.
Sharing a room with a new person can be stressful. But with the right approach and openness, you both can do it. Communicate directly and try to find compromises. Spend some time together, set boundaries, and maybe you’ll become good friends.