The semester has begun, and with the beginning of every semester, roommates love each other, hate each other and everything in between.
Meeting roommates is one of the first experiences people have in college, and ensuring the relationship is stable is important to having a healthy and successful school year. As someone who has had three roommates in the dorms and four roommates in a house, I have lived with all sorts of people, good and bad.
Whether you want to be an enjoyable roommate to live with, or learn to survive with one you don’t get along with, here are some simple tips and ideas to help:
Keep your space clean.
Roommates who leave trash and dirty clothes everywhere can be aggravating, especially for people who like to see their floors.
This is why maintaining a standard of cleanliness in your space is important. Your space does not need to be spotless but simply as clean as you are comfortable living in.
Likewise, if your roommate’s smelly socks and half-eaten Panda Express starts to encroach upon your space, don’t be afraid to ask them to clean up. Having a roommate means you share a living space with them, and if your roommate’s lack of cleanliness bugs you, a simple conversation can solve it.
Hang out with them.
It’s as easy as going to the Union to grab some lunch or playing ping-pong in a dorm’s lounge. Your roommate is probably just as anxious as you about how their friendships will pan out over the school year, and establishing a bond with your roommate(s) soon after moving in is important. Living with someone you can have a conversation with is much more preferable than laying in bed on your phones in silence.
If you run out of ideas, the BGSU Events Calendar is full of fun games and campus-wide activities to attend.
Communicate with each other.
No matter how hard you try, you and your roommate(s) will disagree at some point. Having people over without prior notice, staying up late and making noise, eating their food or drinking their drinks and simply just having a bad day are some of the many conflicts that can arise.
Sometimes these can be avoided by being open and honest with your roommate(s) about your plans for that day, if certain snacks are open for anyone and general boundaries. But, if you find yourself in the midst of an argument, openness and honesty are still useful in resolving disputes.
This is why communication is key to a healthy dorm life. For instance, if you eat your roommate’s Cheetos without asking and they confront you about it, explain why you made that decision. Whether it be that you thought they wouldn’t care, or you were just hungry, communication goes a long way. Lying about honest mistakes will eventually catch up to you and can even facilitate a relationship of lies between you and your roommate(s).
College can be rough, especially in the dorms. But, roommates can be fantastic people to fall back on and talk to about your day. You just have to form that bond first, and you could have a friend for life.