For some students, the scariest part of college may not be the exams or essays, but rather the idea of moving into a dorm room with a complete stranger and live with them for months and months.
There are always many circulating stories about dreadful roommates, which tend to haunt those newly arriving dorm dwellers. Most every student hopes for a roommate that doesn’t turn his or her life into a nightmare, or better yet a daymare.
The students who haven’t been so lucky know that a semester with an unpleasant roommate will be a huge test of their patience and strength.
“One thing I struggled with was the fact that my roommate went to bed way before me,” said WCU sophomore Allison Hendrick. “She always had her friends using my Internet.”
Nothing tends to spoil the college experience quicker than a bad roommate. Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid complications, which could lessen your chance of having a bad experience.
“Make sure you schedule out time to take for yourself,” said Hendrick. “That way you can have space between each other.”
It is always beneficial to contact your roommate before the semester you are going to live together. Get to know one another by talking about your habits and hobbies so you are prepared. It may also be important to discuss the furniture etc. since you may have limited space in the dorm room. Discuss the sharing of appliances and whether or not your bed will be bunked, for instance.
“Know that you are going to have ups and downs because everyone has different patterns,” said Hendrick. “Just have patience.”
The key to any good relationship is compromise, and this holds true for your roommate relationship also. If you like to stay up all night, don’t turn on all the lights. If you are a morning person, try laying out your clothes ahead of time to avoid extra noise in the morning. You shouldn’t sacrifice everything, but remember that you are sharing the room.
” I slept on the top bunk for the entire year since my roommate didn’t like heights,” said Hendrick.
You should always be considerate. If your roommate is in the dorm, don’t start making out with your boyfriend/girlfriend right in front of them. To those of you who never leave the room, give your roommate some privacy for a little while and go visit a friend or go to the library. Try to respect each other’s preferences because no one wants to live in an unwelcoming environment.
In spite of you efforts, you may still end up with a roommate that you dislike. Even if you have a decent relationship with one another, there will still be days where you cannot stand one another.
It is best to be honest in any situation that may arise. If you are frustrated with them, tell them why. In many cases, your roommate may be unaware of any inconvenience they are causing. If they do know about your concerns and continue what they were doing anyway, there is always an RA nearby willing to help.
The less time you spend in your dorm room, the less likely you are to annoy one another. If you find yourself becoming aggravated, try spending less time in the room. Join a club or activity group to meet more people.
The worst thing you can do is get revenge against your roommate. It can be tempting at times, but it will only create an endless cycle of revenge that makes both of you miserable. Try talking things out instead.
There is always the option of changing rooms if there is no common ground that can be reached. A better option would be to just hang in there until the end of the semester and switch rooms for the next semester. It wouldn’t cost more money and would be a more convenient move-in for you.
In either situation, you must understand that there is no guarantee that your roommate will be any better the second time around. There is still a chance they could be worse.
When considering rooming with a friend, think carefully. It is sometimes harder to share a room with a friend because you are unwilling to say anything that may hurt them. Make sure you discuss the living conditions before you decide.
Sometimes people get lucky and have a roommate they love. But many will have to go through the struggle of annoying, loud, roommates with no courtesy at all. Look at it this way, it is just one of many college experiences that you will look back on and laugh about later in life.