Moving into your freshman dorm is exciting and in the first few days it may seem like you and your roommate will be friends forever but as the newness wears off, your ability to get along with each other will play a big part in how happy you are at school. While it may seem like you are getting along great, there are some things you can do to make sure that you create a solid foundation that will ensure you and your roommate make it through freshman year without any big problems.
Get to Know Them
While you don’t have to become best friends, it is important to take some time to get to know each other since you will be living together all year. Tell each other about your interests and hobbies, share stories about what things are like at home, open up and let them get to know you on a personal level. This sets the stage for the most important thing you must learn to do in order to have a successful roommate relationship which is number 2 on this list.
Communication is Key
If you want to have a good relationship with your roommate, you both need to commit to being open and honest with each other. If you make communication the foundation of your relationship, there won’t be any issues you can’t get through. It can be challenging to share space with another person which is why learning to communicate with each other is so important. It makes it easier to discuss likes and dislikes and gives you a place from which you can effectively manage any conflicts.
One of the hardest things about living with another person is that you come from different backgrounds and have different expectations, different likes and dislikes, and different ideas about how things should be done or handled. If you can begin your roommate relationship with an open mind, you will be better able to find solutions that work for both of you and to meet your roommate in the middle.
No matter where you stand on an issue, it is unlikely you will find a roommate that agrees with you completely about everything which is why it is so important to set boundaries. If you are a morning person and she is a night owl, you may have to compromise on when “lights out” happens. Your idea of a neat room might be wildly different than your roommates and he may not think it is okay to have visitors sleep in the room with you. These are the kinds of issues that can cause serious problems in roommate relationships so if you can agree to some boundaries at the beginning you may be able to avoid big problems later.
Respect Each Other’s Space
This might seem like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how quickly it can become an issue between college roommates. You both need to agree on some basic personal space boundaries right from the beginning like whether or not it is okay for a friend of your roommate to sit on your bed so that you can avoid some of the angry resentment that can cause problems in roommate relationships.
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