Whether living in a college dorm or moving out of home and settling down with people, it’s important to respect the space and be mindful of your roommates. There are times things won’t go as amazing as you’d hope, but I’m really grateful to have had such an experience.
Throughout my time as an undergrad college student I have had different roommates each year. Some of the roommates I had made my year terrible while others gave me such an amazing college experience. I’d love to share some advice I have learned when it comes to living with another person and hopefully it can help someone out there.
1. Communicating to Your Roommate & Suitemates
It’s crucial to build a good foundation with your roommates and suitemates. While you have your set of friends and family, roommates and suitemates serve to be another community. They become more than your average classmates or strangers. Talking to your roommates and suitemates helps expose you to different things and may bring comfort to them. Last year my roommate and I stayed up many nights talking and laughing at silly things. This year my roommate and I talk about a lot of things and it’s crazy how much she’s helped me with my life. She may have not realized it, but thanks to her and other good roommates I learned how to deal with some of the stressors in my life and even balance myself to be a better person. It’s also nice to have someone to lean on if you’re having a bad day or need someone to talk to.
2. Respecting Space
While there are some roommates that share clothes or orientate the room a certain way, it’s important to be respectful of the other person’s space. Some roommates like to have the room clean while others may lay everything out. It’s important to discuss with your roommate how to you feel about the room and your preference of living. On the first few days of moving in, my roommate and I spoke about our shower habits and what time we woke up or slept. Such schedules helped us respect the other one’s schedule and respected how we preferred to live. For example, I don’t think I’d be able to focus in a room where clothes were scattered everywhere or to sleep well if my roommate snored. I know I’m a light sleeper and a bit of a neat freak, so these things can be important when you’re sharing space with another person.
3. Rules, Rules, Rules
Depending on your living situation you may be cooking at home or prefer to do your homework in your room. I find it important to set up rules within the first week or so with your roommates and suitemates so that everyone is mindful of the space. It can totally be a game changer when you consider cleaning for your other roommates because they may be going through a lot. Makes their day and may make your day too! Rules also lift the burden on you because you won’t have to clean every single time, but you’re able to share the responsibility with those you live with.