Without doubt, one of the biggest problems many college students find is getting along with their dorm-mates.
People are often thrown into a living situation with someone they might never choose to spend any time with, never mind an intimate arrangement such as those in a college dorm.
Squabbles and disagreements are commonplace. Arguments over space and over possessions can be frequent. Regular rows with a roommate can be debilitating and have a negative effect on the rest of your college experience.
Learning how to get along with someone who irritates or annoys you can be tough, if not impossible. But there are some strategies you can employ to make life easier for everyone. Here are some tips on how to deal with negative people in your dorm.
1. Establish Ground Rules Early on
This might be the first time either of you has ever had to share a room so cut each other some slack. Work out schedules for having visitors, for the chores, and for when to give each other much-needed time alone. Discuss what items you’re willing to share and who gets what share of the furniture. Be honest about your expectations – it will make it easier to go back and discuss things if your relationship is not working out.
2. Respect Each Other’s Possessions and Space
You’re both new to this concept of sharing with a stranger so it’s imperative that you give each other space and that you do not treat their belongings as yours. Nor should you accept them taking your things for granted, which leads on to No.3.
3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff but Don’t Ignore the Big Stuff
So your roommate keeps using your toothpaste. It’s not the end of the world and a gentle reminder to him or her to buy their own will probably be enough. However, a roommate who continually takes advantage of you and your things is clearly self-centered and so a frank reminder about those early ground rules is required.
4. Spend Time Together
You may realize early on that you and your roommate are never going to be lifelong buddies but you can be civil and enjoy a friendly relationship while you’re sharing living space. So even it’s just going to the movies or going out for breakfast on the weekends, make an effort to spend time together away from the dorm.
5. Be Polite and Courteous at All Times
Okay, this might be tough if your roommate is driving you up the wall by playing loud music, leaving the bathroom in a mess and drinking the last of the milk without replacing it. But take a deep breath and remember graduation isn’t that far away.
It can be difficult adjusting to sharing a close living space with someone you don’t know but setting ground rules and making sure you both stick to them can make life simpler all round.