Finding Your Own Space in a Shared Room

You get home from a long day of classes—a few tests, a ton of notes, and sitting behind the super tall guy in class that you can’t see over so you’re swaying back and forth trying to read the board. It’s been a rough day, and all you want to do is take a nap, surf the web, or just have some time to relax. Unfortunately, you might have someone who, unintentionally, crushes your dreams of having any alone time: your roommate. Below are some tips on how to find alternative ways to relax instead of just coping with your loss of “me-time.”

1) Find your own space

Nothing feels better than being able to call a place your own, and being away from your real home makes this especially important. Having someone constantly around you can be exhausting, so having your own little area is a must. If your room feels a bit crowded, try going to a common room and finding a quiet space. With music on, you are free to slip into your own world and don’t have to worry about anyone else. There are also hidden-away “jackpot” spots in the library (hint: check out the perimeters of the building on each floor) that are usually quieter and more remote. To feel more comfortable, there are options to divide your room by using dividers like these: 

They really help create your own space in a shared room and allow for more privacy.

2) Coordinate a schedule

Chances are your roomie is feeling just as cramped as you are. With this in mind, try setting up a schedule so that you each get a chance to have the room to yourself. While the options listed in my first point are useful, nothing beats coming home to your own room with your own things—a feeling you definitely can’t replicate in the library. Allocate time to you and your roommate so that you each get your own alone time in the room.

3) Accommodate

The lease you sign agreeing to share a room with someone is practically a marriage license. While it could come with the lovey-dovey aspects, it is mostly an agreement to be with that person for better or for worse, in sickness (and when they get you sick) and in health, when they share their food with you and when they clog the sink drain, from this day forward to the end of the lease.

Essentially, you made your bed and now you have to lie in it… next to your roommate. Accept that you won’t be able to dance naked in the mirror (I can’t be the only one…), sleep until 1:00 PM without being disturbed, or have a full on karaoke session while listening to Pandora. You must accommodate sharing your room, which may include giving up some of your everyday habits.

You’re not alone in your room, but there are still ways for you to find some alone time. And you never know, you might learn to enjoy the company.

Photo credits: 1, 2