College Survival Guide, Surviving the Dorms! Pt. 1 - Roommates.
So for all of you living on campus for college there is one thing that is inevitable: you will be sharing approximately 246sq feet with someone you have probably never met before.
So this presents several problems: what if you don't mesh 100%? What if you have arguments? What if they are messy and you are clean? The list goes on and on. But here are a couple very key tips that will help make you living situation better:
1. Be clear and upfront. Make sure you share your pet peeves and habits with your roommate. Do you hate it when people leave dishes in the sink or clothes on the floor? Do you hate a certain type of music? Let them know. The only way you can come to a middle ground is if you are both aware of what makes the other person tick and work to avoid it.
2. Create a set of agreed upon rules. This kind of ties in with the first tip. Once you have discussed all your quirks, sit down and make a clearly defined set of rules. They can be as simple as "respect each others space and property" or as detailed as you want it. The point is these are the rules of your living space to help everything work together well.
3. Be mindful of who and how often. Having guests is ok, but keep in mind appropriate times to have someone come over. If your roommate is trying to study and you have a friend over and are playing video games, probably not the best idea. Don't forget to make your guests aware of your dorm rules. They are your guest and therefor your responsibility. Also, don't have friends over every second you are in your dorm because it can irritate your roommate and cause tension between you.
4. Invest in a pair of headphones and earplugs. If you like blasting music at max volume, go ahead. But do it so only you can hear the music, remember that you don't want to piss off the person you are living with for 8 months out of your life. Music is always my preferred escape, so if this helps you then have at it. Secondly, living in a dorm full of noisy freshman can be annoying, especially when you are trying to sleep. My dorm was right next to the courtyard and it ECHOED! So students who didn't know the meaning of quiet hours were seriously irritating especially when I could hear whole conversations from my bed. So grab a pair of earplugs just in case.
5. Address issues while they are small. Don't wait until the critical breaking point to deal with an issue. Address an issue when it first starts popping up in order to save your relationship with your roommate.
6. Save the sexy time for when you're alone! If you and your boyfriend/girlfriend are intimate make sure to save it for when your roommate is out of the dorm and will probably not be back soon. You don't want to have that awkward roommate-walking in on you moment. Also, DON'T DO THE NASTY ON THEIR BED OR STUFF! This goes back to being respectful of your roommate. No one cares if you have sex just be smart about it.
7. Roommate, not a lifeline. Your roommate can be your friend, but for those shy freshman, don't make your roommate your only friend or lifeline. It can lead to them getting seriously annoyed with you and more issues. So try to branch out, have them introduce you to their friends and go from there. Just remember that you have to force yourself to make friends. Don't bog down your roommate.
8. Be nice, but don't expect to be best buddies. When you first meet your roommate and start to get to know them, remember to always be friendly and kind to them but don't expect to become the very best friends ever. Personalities may not always work together completely. But even if you don't become best friends always remember to be friendly and supportive, because you are living with that person for 8 months!
9. RESPECT! This is just so simple I shouldn't even have to explain it. Your parents should have taught you to respect other and you MUST carry that on especially when you live with people. Just respect them and their property. 'Nuff said!
10. Don't talk shit. Yes, roommates can be frustrating but don't complain about them to a mutual friend because that just creates more conflict. If you need to vent, talk with someone who is an outside party like your friend from home or your significant other or parents.