In college stress is a commonly felt emotion that is impossible to avoid or ignore. This stress derives from the never-ending workload, the constant contemplation of future career ambitions, and at times the current roommate situation. Roommates are typically the first people you see when you wake up and the last people you lay your eyes on before you doze off into a blissful slumber. Whether you’re new to the college scene or living out your last year on Hawk Hill, roommate quarrels are inevitable. To avoid potential trivial fights and ease the tension of sharing a limited space:
1. Don’t be their shadow: The biggest mistake that anyone can make is being too attached to their roommate. I hope from the bottom of my heart that you grow to love and enjoy spending time with this person who sleeps inches away from you, however don’t suffocate them. Join your own activities and strive after your own interests. If you’re not together 24-7 don’t fret.
2. Grant them their space when they are in need of it: Everyone needs their designated alone time. If someone is taking a nap or explicitly pleads for space, respect their wishes. Just because they desire to be isolated from you for a short time doesn’t mean they are angry with you, it simply means that they wish to indulge themselves in their own thoughts for the time being.
3. Be considerate if you come home at late hours: If you come home at 3am on a Saturday night you might not want to slam the door and initiate a dance party if one of your roommates is sound asleep in the next room. Be respectful. If you don’t respect your roommates then how do you expect them to reciprocate? Sleep is crucial for survival in college; please don’t deprive anyone of this necessity.
4. Cleanliness: Don’t make a mess that you don’t intend on cleaning in a reasonable amount of time. Clean up after yourself, its what your mother taught you to do.
5. Sharing clothes: If you’re a college girl you most likely wear your roommate’s clothes just as often as you wear your own. Some people are more open to lending out clothes than others, therefore, don’t just assume that you are entitled to their peplum top or cardigan sweaters…be considerate and ask! Remember that its a two way street, if you borrow something of theirs you have to be willing to open your closet to them. If you decide to share clothes with your roommates don’t be hesitant to make a few items off limits. If you don’t want them to blemish your new vans or accidentally rip that lace dress you cherish with your whole heart, say something! I promise you they will completely understand.
6. Make an effort: Living with a roommate who you just met can be awkward, but what really makes it awkward is if you refuse to engage in conversation with them. Talk to your roommate, even if you don’t become best friends at least you can come home at night and talk about your day with someone.
7. Be their shoulder to cry on and advisor: When away at college you don’t have your family to raise your spirits up during the bleak days, neither does your roommate. When they are in need of a vent session, listen. When they want to cry, let them and embrace them with a hug. When they are lost, help them find themselves. Give them the advice and comfort that you would want in your time of need. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate in order to make them feel better; you just have to be a compassionate person.
8. Be blunt: In order to live civilly with your roommates it is crucial that you are honest with them. If something they are doing is upsetting or irritating you in some way, approach them about it. Don’t be overbearing or rude; simply tell them how you are feeling in a mature manner. If you can hear their music blasting from across the apartment and it really infuriates you, say something! If you are upfront with them, they will be upfront with you.