How to Cope With Your College Roommates

The opportunity to live on your own can be an exciting experience. You’re no longer obligated to follow your parents’ rules and you can abide by your own schedule. Most people tend to share their living spaces with others so that they can reduce their individual cost of housing. Sometimes, living with a total stranger can be a good experience, whereas living with your friends can turn out to be a total disaster. Whatever the case may be, here are three tips on how you can cope with your roommates:

1. Meet Your Potential Roommate In Person

The way people communicate online is different than in person. If it’s possible, it’s best to schedule a time to meet your potential roommate in person. During this time, it would be good to discuss personal preferences. For example, find out if they are a night owl or an early riser. Although things like this might seem small, little clashes in personality and preferences might not allow for you and your roommate to cohabitate. Because I did not have the opportunity to meet my roommate beforehand, I did not have a good experience living in the dorms.


2. Set Guidelines

It’s hard to forget that we all come from different backgrounds and that we were raised in a different manner. Your roommate may prefer to sleep in silence whereas you like to sleep with white noise. Either way, there will be a lot of differences in the ways in which you and your roommate go about handling things. If you didn’t get a chance to meet them in person beforehand, discuss your likes and dislikes with your roommate to find a medium between your preferences and theirs. It’s ideal to discuss guidelines at the beginning of the year to avoid complications. Making a roommate contract is a good way to combat this issue.


3. Don’t Be Scared of Confrontation

Even if you are friends with your roommate, sometimes they might do things that you simply don’t like. If you discussed guidelines with them at the beginning of the year and they still don’t comply with them, you should confront them. Kindly tell them what is bothering you and how important it would be to you if they stopped handling things a certain way. If you live on campus, try talking to your RA or the housing director if the situation gets out of hand.

Everyone will have a different roommate experience. Don’t get upset if you are not best friends with your roommate. Living on your own, whether that is by yourself or learning to be independent while living with your parents,  will be a journey and it will definitely provide you with more life experience.