How to Cope with Your Roommate as a Student
One of the things you might have to deal with as a University or college student is having a roommate. This can either prove to be interesting or challenging depending on the personalities involved and how best they are able to manage their differences. Whether you are living off campus or on campus, you may likely get into the roommate thing. For those living on campus, likely you don’t even have a part in choosing who your roommate is going to be, you are put together by the authorities concerned and you have to find a way of moving along with these ‘stranger’ (s) for a good period of time. How do you cope? Even for those who may be living off-campus and can choose who gets to stay with you or who you get to stay with, there’s still the challenge of tagging along which you have to be able to effectively handle. People are of different personalities, backgrounds, likes and dislikes, hence the tendency of friction and the need to manage the situation in good ways. This article goes on to give you certain tips on how to cope with your roommate as a student.
1. Tell each other your lifestyle
It is important that you do not wait for your roommate to have to start discovering you before telling him or her some important things about your lifestyle. Your likes, dislikes, what you are comfortable with and what you may not be comfortable with. Try to know about him/her too. If you don’t say some things, then the other person may be doing things that you don’t like. When you talk about your personality, your lifestyle, then there is likely to be more understanding between you both which could help your interaction as roommates. Do you like to play music or something in the room, is your roommate comfortable with this? Do you like your things to be kept neat and organised? Talk about your likes and dislikes.
2. Talk about rules
Try to give yourselves some basic rules in the room as to what you should do and what you should not do. Let this be agreed between you and your roommate. Don’t only talk about the rules but also address how the situation should be handled should someone break the rules. Setting necessary rules early enough will help each person to know the boundaries they can reach as to what and how they can do in the room. You should both know how cooking will go, are you cooking together or separately? What of the toilet or bathroom, how should it be managed?
3. Agree on visitors
Talk about privacy and as it concerns visitors or guests. If you are planning to bring someone over, you should inform your roommate. If you are a very social person who has many friends, talk to your roommate and know if he/she is comfortable with different people coming over, if not, you both may have to reach a compromise.
4. Check your expectations
You should try not to have too high expectations for the relationship between you and your roommate. Try to see it from the angle of you just being roommates and don’t expect that compulsorily you both should become best of friends. If this happens, good. Be more deliberate about treating the relationship as a business partnership thing that you both are trying to manage a particular space while cutting down on rent expenses. While you may get close or might have been close friends before, don’t be too much on the other person, allow him/her necessary space and you should try to spend time with other friends too.
5. Take care of situations early
Don’t allow situations to get out of hands before dealing with them, beware of just letting things be when you are not happy about them, try to talk to your roommate about what he/she is doing that you don’t like early enough and encourage him or her to do so as well, don’t let issues accumulate too much between you. If resentments build up before dealing with issues, it’s not the best, clear your mind about things as fast as possible. If you confront situations early and in a good way, then it will help the atmosphere in the room, no build-up of negative energy. Also ensure that when addressing issues, you don’t do it in a way that will make it look like you are demeaning or insulting the other person, and don’t try to always be right, ensure that you are ready to accept your wrong deeds when you are at fault. Settle matters amicably in a polite and respectful manner. In case there are issues where you need to use a mediator if necessary, then you should, just ensure that issues are well resolved. Even if issues seem to have compiled and maybe it’s not at the early stage, still find a way to address the issue in a constructive manner.
6. Be careful with their things
What I mean here is to handle their things with care. Let your roommate know If you have to use or borrow anything belonging to him or her, then don’t use the items in a bad manner. Even if you handle your own things carelessly, you must be careful with what belongs to the other person. Don’t hurt or make the other person feel bad that you are his or her roommate.
7. Watch what you share
Don’t just share any kind of item with your roommate. Know what and what not to share and avoid contacting any communicable disease.
8. Take care of your arena
You likely have your personal spaces in the room, you should customise and make your own place good enough for you. Make it as comfortable and nice as you want it and allow your roommate to have his or her space too and to arrange it to his/her taste.
9. Be security conscious
It’s good to take proper caution when necessary. If you have to leave the room probably when your roommate is not around, then try to lock the door so as to protect the items and properties in the room. Protect your property and your roommate’s also.
10. Talk about time for study
You both should know when and where you choose to study. If someone decides to study in the room, then that will impact on what the other person can do in the room at that time so as not to disturb the person studying.
11. Understand the differences
Your roommate may not have the same upbringing, background and lifestyle as you, you should understand these differences and relate with the other person respecting his/her own way of life too.
12. How do you want to be treated?
This is quite an important point. Treat and relate with your roommate the way you will also like to be treated and related with. Apply the golden rule. If you don’t want to be disturbed in some way, then don’t disturb the other person in the way he/she don’t like too. If you want him/her to accept when he/she is wrong, then admit it when you are wrong too.
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