One of the biggest adjustments to college life is living with someone else! I’m an only child and have always had my own room with plenty of space to spread out my stuff! I am so grateful to have been matched with an amazing roommate, our personalities fit perfectly together and we have never had any problems. Not everyone is as lucky as Katie and I, but often times roommate conflicts could have been avoided if both roommates had remembered a few things:
In any relationship, whether it be professional, romantic, or friendly, communication is always the most important thing to keep that relationship productive and effective. I like to think of roommates as being in a relationship similar to being married, I definitely enjoy coming home to someone I appreciate so much! Roommates, like married couples, have to work with the other’s schedule and
adjust to their personality as well as figuring out what living preferences and habits they have. My roommate and I emailed a lot back and forth after we were matched up in the summer before school started, we hadn’t even met yet and we were already communicating and being very blunt about what we know about ourselves that would let the two of us transition into living together smoothly. Together, we made a list of things we would need for the room and then split it up evenly based on the amount of money that we would need to spend to complete our part of the list.2. COMPROMISE
Though Katie and I have never had real problems as roommates, there was one occasion where we had almost gotten to a point where we could have easily slipped into the category of “Roommate Conflict”. The topic of this “disagreement” was the furniture layout of the room, for some reason I had wanted to change the layout but I wasn’t sure how to make it all work with how each of us likes to exist in the room. Words were said and we were both getting frustrated and right at that tipping point, Katie made the very smart decision to use the restroom. This tiny break from each other gave us the space we each needed to breathe and come back together to make a compromise about the room where we can both be happy and coexist.
There will definitely always be things in life’s situations where you will need to compromise and just learn to live in this situation that you may not have been originally going for. The biggest part about this is to not making compromising a huge production; be easy to work with and be open minded for another person’s ideas so you can work them in with your own.
I titled this section “Consider” because it started with a “C” and I like the pattern I made! Anyways, being CONSIDERate (see what I did there?) is another great quality to have to avoid roommate conflicts! I’ve heard of roommates getting into conflicts because one of them wasn’t being considerate of the other. I really think we should revisit some lessons that should be ingrained into the inside of our eyelids: THE GOLDEN RULE! Would you want your roommate to come back at 3 in the morning and turn on all the lights and crash around in their closet trying to find something to wear? Hopefully, not.
If nothing else works, there are many people on campus to help you and your roommate get past your disagreement or find a way to change your situation so there won’t be added stress in your life on top of all that college entails! I suggest reading the Roommate Agreement form (filled out soon after you move in) carefully and being very honest about what you are and aren’t okay with, if it comes to a point where other people need to help you solve your conflict, the Roommate Agreement will probably be brought up!
By Gabrielle Boyle