By Kamakshi Katwala, 2019-2020 SCS Student Advising Leader:
Your college roommates can be the best thing that ever happened to you… or your worst nightmare, or anywhere in-between. Some people are not used to living with others in close proximity, and that can be a major challenge. That being said, I have experienced both ends of the spectrum, and there are certain things you can do to make living with your roommates much easier on all of you.
First, get to know each other. The chances that your roommate is just like you is nearly impossible, and it is important to recognize that. Your roommate may have certain habits that irk you, but you should recognize that maybe that is what he or she has always done and they didn’t know any different. Get to know their habits and sleep schedule so that you can accommodate them.
Second, communicate. If something they do conflicts with your schedule, don’t be afraid to tell them and ask them to adjust their schedule. It isn’t fair for you to be losing sleep, for example, just because they tend to stay up all night studying. Coming to a compromise will benefit both of you, and communicating these issues from the start can help facilitate this even more efficiently.
Third, clean up your mess. You’re living in a small space and things can get very messy, very quickly. Pick up after any food you might have bought, and take turns or work together to clean up after yourselves. This will not only make it easier for you in the long run when you’re living on your own, but it shows that you’re willing to respect your shared living space with your roommate.
Lastly, do not be afraid to make choices that benefit you. For example, I had a roommate freshman year that had a completely different lifestyle than me, and I was constantly cleaning up after both of us. I had altered my own schedule to accommodate to hers, and it led to me being stressed out and sleep-deprived. Luckily, I was able to move out between semesters and live on my own. Make the choice that will benefit you, and make sure you take care of yourself through this transition because college is hard enough without having issues in your residence hall or apartment.