College 101: How To Be The Perfect Roommate

Joining college is a very exciting time for many young people because it marks a new phase in their life and to some comes with a sense of maturity on their part.

Many parents are always hesitant to let their children go to college because of the various influences that they will be exposed to by other students or even the college that they will be studying in.

The college experience is full of opportunities to become stressed.

One of the biggest stress triggers is dealing with a roommate. Whether someone chooses to have a roommate on campus or off, there are some unique aspects of living on campus that promote stress.

Even if you grew up sharing a room with a sibling, having a roommate in college is much different.

Before you haul the extra long twin sheets for your new bed, be sure to bone up on some survival tips for dealing with roommates.

It is common to find many students who have dropped out of college for many reasons and most of them it is because they did not have a plan as to how they were going to live out their college life.

This allows them to be exposed to negative influences through other students and they end up ruining their lives as they try to satisfy themselves.

A Roommate Can Effect Your College Experience

The thought of living with a new roommate freshman year can bring a lot of anxious feelings. Some people are more prepared, while others don’t have a clear understanding of what they will experience.

One of the greatest influences that anyone will have in college is their roommate as they can influence them both negatively as well as positively.

This is possible because you will be spending most of your time away from class with your roommate, in your room, or if you have grown to be good friends then you are likely to be engaged in extracurricular activities together.

That is why it is important to get connected with a site like Room Surf.

As a college parent, there are a few things that you can do to help your student prepare for living with their future roommate.

You’ll be able to see how they feel about freshman year, while giving them helpful tips.

In case you have a roommate that is a party animal and you are not, then you might have a bit of conflict when it comes to your sleeping schedules because it is likely that when you are sleeping they are partying somewhere and will definitely wake you up when they return as is common with intoxicated people.

Their friends may also have the same behavior thereby making it hard for you to study in your room when they come to visit.

This will, in turn, lead to you failing in your studies because you did not read adequately for your exams or your roommate can pressure you into joining her kind of lifestyle thereby seeing you abandon your studies.

College brings about a wide variety of cultures, religions, and ethnic groups.

As an athlete you are usually assigned to a room with a fellow teammate, which helps ease the stress of this new chapter of your life, the life of a student-athlete. However, this is not written in stone.

More than half the time incoming freshman will be roomed with non-athletes.

The first day you arrive at college there is a good amount of nervous excitement and a boatload of awkwardness when meeting your new roommate and their family.

Nervousness is to be expected. You are being taken out of your comfortable settings with no responsibilities other than classwork and training.

Now, you are proceeding into a life of responsibility and mature decision making.

With all the nervousness, how can you make yourself more comfortable when you meet your roommate on freshman move-in day?

How Can You Be Less Nervous?

First, I strongly consider contacting the college’s residential life and asking for your roommates’ phone number or e-mail.

Second, contact your roommate during the summer to familiarize your self with them and build a relationship.

On the other hand, if you are lucky to get a roommate that knows how to balance school work and fun activities then you are more likely to succeed in your studies.

This is because you will be able to combine the two and graduate from school a well-rounded person that can survive in the work industry.

Overall, the choice you make for a college roommate finder may determine the path your life will take in and after your college years.

However, the first time many people experience living on their own is when they go to college.

Not only are you living on your own for the first time, but you are dealing with the stress of college courses and many times you are living with a roommate.

“Colleges and family members who are sending students off to college need to remember that this is a phase of life where young people are confronted with expectations from new relationships and living situations and other encounters that are stressful”

More often than not, the roommate is a stranger. Someone the housing department decided would be your loving companion for the next year.

Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many lifelong friendships have begun from being thrown together as college roommates.

But, you need to remember that everyone comes from a different background and it is very likely that there will be a few issues.

Here are a few tips for becoming a good roommate:

Floor Plan

One of the first steps you should take after learning about your rooming arrangements is to take a look at the floor plan.

Almost all colleges and many apartment complexes have rudimentary floor plans available online.

While the floor plan lacks all the information you need to determine exactly how much space you have, it gives you a starting point.

If your room is divided up so each person has his or her own sleeping area, floor plans show the common areas (which can cause friction among roommates).

You can also get a general idea of how your home away from home is laid out. This is especially important if you are living in an apartment.

Almost all colleges and many apartment complexes have rudimentary floor plans available online.

While the floor plan lacks all the information you need to determine exactly how much space you have, it gives you a starting point.

If your room is divided up so each person has his or her own sleeping area, floor plans show the common areas – which can cause friction among roommates. You can also get a general idea of how your home away from home is laid out.

This is especially important if you are living in an apartment.

Get To Know Your Roommate 

My freshman year of college, four of my closest friends lived just a few doors down, and I knew almost every girl that lived on my floor.

Anytime I was bored, lonely, homesick, or even needed to study, I could always find someone to hang out with.

When you’re hanging out in your dorm room alone, prop your door open and don’t be afraid to say hi when someone walks by.

The more people you meet, the more activities you will be exposed to and the less likely you’ll be stuck in your dorm room with nothing to do but be homesick and miserable.

Get More Information About Your Roommate

If you receive contact information for your roommate(s), take advantage of it!

Find out what kinds of items each person has and can bring to the new place.

This is also the time to make backup plans for essential items in case a roommate has to move out and takes various items during the move.

Otherwise, you might find yourself scrambling for silverware right before the spring semester starts due to a roommate moving before Christmas Break.

Even if you think your roommate is disgusting or annoying or boring, there are probably some interesting things about that person.

Ask questions about your roommate’s family and hobbies, and talk about classes and such. Chances are that you have some of the same types of classes, at least for the first year or two.

Being interested in another person’s life is the best way to actually find out that you like that person in spite of your first impressions.

You can also find out what kind of schedules your roommates may have.

While it’s not always possible to know the exact classes someone will take, you can still find out if your roommates will be going to class most in the morning or later in the day.

Finding out such information can reduce room conflicts such as playing music loudly at certain times or how to handle things if someone brings several friends over.

You can also use the opportunity to bring up subjects such as keeping the room clean, which can cause major problems if left unaddressed.

Keep in mind that if you can contact your roommate(s) before move-in day, it will be by e-mail. Be sure to adhere to e-mail etiquette when initially talking to your roommates.

The last thing you want to deal with on move-in day is a roommate that already has a bad impression of you.

Get Some Rules

Rules are important for college students that are rooming together. If you don’t set any rules in the beginning, the roommate will think that anything goes. Sit down and talk about the preferences that both of you have.

Does one of you like getting up early in the morning or staying up late?

Do you have to have quiet when doing homework?

Do you prefer listening to the music turned all the way up?

Find out about these things early and come up with some rules together. It makes living together a bit easier.

Be Honest 

When it comes to living with someone, there’s always a balance between honesty and not saying everything that’s on your mind.

If your roommate is doing something that’s really bothering you, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.

If, on the other hand, there’s something about your roommate that inexplicably bothers you – especially if it’s just something that’s a part of her personality – just live with it. There’s no use rocking the boat over something that is more your problem than your roommate’s, anyway.

Learn the Art of Compromise

When you first go off to college, one of the big adjustments you have to deal with is living with a college roommate.

You may have one or even more roommates, and while this can bring some excitement, it can also bring irritation and infuriation.

There are many college roommate horror stories, some funny and some scary, that you’ll hear from college students. Okay, so you may not feel like compromising.

More than likely you are used to having your room your way. Well, get over that now. Compromise is the name of the game when you have a college roommate. Of course, you shouldn’t be the one giving in all the time.

Both of you need to work together to compromise so you can come up with good solutions that you both can deal with.

Talk to Each Other

Many roommates get frustrated and just hold things in. This is a mistake and will only cause more problems. If something is bothering you, talk to your roommate about it.

The more you talk to each other, the more you can avoid conflict and annoying each other even more. Just be honest and save your battles for things that are really important.

Complaining all the time isn’t going to get anything done for you. Talk over for the conflict with polite and in euphemism.

If the situation is too terrible like roommates like to smoke in the room all day, you have to talk over this to them. Just be polite and sincere.

Use the ask questions, like “I am sorry but could you mind…?” Do not use order or shout directly. That can just make things worse once two starts quarreling.

Respect Your Roommate and Their Property

Under one roof, we can be a half family. We need respect, communication, and understanding for others before we want it back.

Remember, to own more private room, you must release the balloon for anger in your heart. Don’t let it be inflated up if so your happy life will bounce away. Friends can be anywhere with the respect and communication with sincerity.

When you have seen your roommate stagger in at 3 am trashed on Sunday morning, it may be tough to have respect for them, but you need to respect them as well as their property.

One big complaint that roommates have is their other roommate going through their stuff. Don’t do this. You don’t want them taking your things, so save a lot of big fights and just respect them and their property.

You’ll be more likely to get through your first year of college without getting beat up that way. 

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