School is back in full swing, which means you’re now adjusting to a new place to call home, new classes, and, in most cases, a new roommate. Exciting right? Okay, maybe sharing a small space with another girl isn’t exactly the ideal situation, but here are a few tips to make your roomie relationship a bit smoother.
1.Don’t expect a scene out of the movies
I know you’ve seen countless movies at this point about what college is supposed to be like and how you and your roomie are supposed to be BFFLs from day one. Trust me, it’s okay if you aren’t agreeing to be bridesmaids in each other’s weddings right away. That kind of relationship takes time, especially if you didn’t know each other before. Go into the situation with an open mind because rooming with your best friend doesn’t automatically mean your friendship will be ruined by the end of the year. Also, rooming with a random roommate doesn’t mean that y’all won’t become close eventually. Everything takes time. So, remember to stay calm because she’s still adjusting to this new life just like you are.
2. Establish boundaries
Ladies, this is probably one of the most important rules to keep in mind when it comes to your new roommate. You really don’t want to be that girl who becomes a pain to live with, so just be considerate of your roommate’s time and space. Learn what she’s comfortable sharing, who she’s okay with staying in your room and what her schedule looks like. I start classes at 8:00 a.m., so when I’m halfway through my day, my roommate is just starting her’s. So, at night, when my roommate is getting ready to go to a sorority function, I’ve already called it a day and am watching Netflix. Already we’ve learned to communicate and compromise in little ways. For example, I don’t turn on the light when I’m getting ready for my 8:00 a.m. When she’s coming in from an event she takes late night studying to places like Starbucks or the library. In addition, we only have people in our room late at night on the weekends. If you’re not really sure how your roommate feels about something, just ask her. Having one of those conversations early on can save a lot of frustration down the road.
3. Less is always better
Let’s throw it back to elementary school when your parents and teachers always told you “sharing was caring”. If you haven’t shared since then, you may want to rethink your approach to living in a dorm because sharing can save you a lot of money and valuable space. No, you don’t have to share any of your personal keepsakes from back home. And no, you don’t have to share clothes and shoes (but I mean who wouldn’t love to have two closets?). Just share what you’re comfortable with and don’t let anyone make you feel obligated to do something outside of your boundaries. Some of the best belongings to save on and share are the little things such as snacks for your room, hair supplies (flat iron, blow dryer, curling iron, etc.), common storage space, basic school/desk supplies and wall space, or sometimes even bigger items like a TV, fridge, futon, fan, hanging mirror, trunk etc. Realistically, you don’t need two of everything because who really has the money or the space in your dorm for that stuff? Divide up the costs and space to make your small home seem much bigger.
4. Make the most of the situation
College is an exciting and new experience that can be extremely overwhelming especially for us freshies, so having your roommate constantly in your corner is a huge advantage. Get to know her (if you haven’t already) by going on roomie dates that could be as simple as going someplace downtown for dinner or to Spill the Beans for dessert. And if you’re on a tight budget (like many of us are for the next few years) then suggest watching Netflix in your room, going to football tailgate/games together, or getting involved in some of the same activities around campus. Spending time together, without talking about just academics, could help you and your roommate really get to know each other and discover some of your shared interests. Even if you already know your roommate, being stuck in a small room with someone for long enough while also dealing with the stress of school can cause tension. So, just remember to take time to relax and hang out.