One of the trickiest parts of living at college is learning how to share a room. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably had your own room for most of your life and are very used to being able to turn on lights and play music whenever you want. Learning how to accommodate someone else’s schedule has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. Now that I’m in my second year of college, I’ve had two roommates. The first one was assigned to me and the second one was a friend I chose to room with this year. Living with another girl in a tiny space for an entire year can be extremely challenging and rewarding. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from my roommates.
Boundaries are a MUST
Boundaries are extremely important and they need to be established early on. If you don’t have a boundary conversation within the first two weeks of classes, things will be very awkward when problems arise. Luckily for me, I’ve never had much problems with this, but some of my friends have. You need to learn to say no to people and more importantly, you need to learn that the campus does not revolve around you. Does your roommate leave the light on at night because they go to bed later than you? Get a sleeping mask. Little compromises like that can make or break a good roommate relationship. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, but don’t be unwilling to bend either.
Being Spontaneous is Great… Sometimes
There will be many nights when you are tempted to blow off work and do something fun with your roommate. That’s perfectly okay as long as you can go back to work after the break. Take a few minutes to chat and paint your nails when you are stressed. If you both don’t have classes the next day, watch a movie together or bake a cake. (My roommate and I could write an entire book on all the ways to make a terrible cake in the dorm.) Ten minutes until the store closes? Better make an Oreo run! (Yes, we did this too and yes, we literally ran.) However, if you have a test the next day, hanging out and going shopping together is not the best use of time. Be willing to say yes to crazy ideas as long as they are not dangerous or keeping you from doing work all day.
Having a roommate who is in most of your classes is always great when it gets to be exam time. You can encourage each other to study and quiz each other on material. Chances are, you will be able to fill in the gaps for each other.
Don’t worry if you are not best friends with your roommate. A lot of people come to college expecting to be BFFs with their new roommate and are shocked to find that this is not the case.
Sharing a living space with a stranger will be challenging at first. Be sure to communicate with your roommate and the two of you will be on your way to making great memories!!