When you’re starting out on your college journey, the opportunities of meeting new people, joining different societies, and living independently might seem appealing at first, but reality will also come at you like a truck. Living with a roommate is something that you may have to face in college, and it’s up to you to prevent it from turning into an obstacle in your journey. Here are five tips to ensure that you and your roommate will have the best experience together!
1. Get to know each other early
This isn’t just about learning their hobbies or common interests! The earlier you tell your roommate what they should know about you and understand each other’s personal boundaries - the better. Discuss your class schedules, sleep schedules, and other habits regarding going to class, eating, studying, using the bathroom, etc. Even if you are already friends with your roommate, knowing someone well is drastically different from living with someone, as I’ve learnt from my roommate who I’ve known since elementary school. Sharing your habits will allow you to accommodate each other better.
2. Share responsibilities
DO YOUR CHORES. No one likes freeriders in their school projects, and I don’t think anyone wants to see them in their home as well. A chore chart could be helpful if you have more than one roommate and things get messy.
3. Hash out arguments immediately
Even if you set your expectations and boundaries at the start, conflicts are bound to happen in any relationship. From my experience, do not be afraid of confrontation and bottle up your frustrations. Address issues calmly, or if you are the one at fault, apologize as soon as possible, and you will be avoiding a larger argument in the future.
4. Give each other personal space
Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, I’m sure personal space is something that everyone enjoys. Let your roommate have some time to themselves!
5. Be empathetic, considerate, and respectful!
This is the most basic but important tip of all. Treat others how you want to be treated, and put yourself in your roommate’s shoes. Even though you guys may not be the same, their feelings should always be in the back of your mind. Simple gestures showing that you care about them will go a long way.