Roommate from Heaven or Hell?
On a college campus, single rooms are a luxury that only a select few get to partake of. For everyone else, a double room is the norm and with a double room comes a roommate. If you do not have a person in mind to live with prior to arriving at your school then chances are, you will be paired with a random person whom you have never met before.
You may have heard the roommate horror stories of a person who is messy, uses your laundry detergent, or is loud at the most inopportune times, but your roommate experience does not have to be like this. If you are fortunate, your roommate can end up as your closest friend throughout your college years.
Get to Know Your Roommate Ahead of Time
If your school offers a resource that allows you to see your roommate before move-in day, take advantage of social networking sites. They are not just for posting daily statuses and pictures from your spring break. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are ways you can communicate with your future roommate. Look them up and send them a quick message telling them telling them you will be living together and get to know a little bit about them before August rolls around.
Once you and your new roommate have moved in together, to avoid any future conflict, you both should sit down and have a talk to lay down some ground rules. If you set boundaries early, it will help keep things together in the long run.
Some Survival Tips
Here are some tips on guidelines to set so that your first year with a roommate goes smoothly:
- Set up Rules for Outside Visitors: If your dorms allow visitors and/or overnight guests, check with your roommate first to see if it is okay. Talk about a time that all visitors need to leave the room as a courtesy to the other person.
- Set up Rules for Food and Other Personal Items: Many people are very particular about things such as their snacks, laundry detergent and even clothing. Talk to your roommate about what is off limits and what is there to share. Once rules like this are set, they MUST be respected.
- Set up Rules for Study Time: You are in school first and foremost for an education so studying is a must. If you do not want to walk to the library or a study room, you and your roommate need to know that when one of you is studying, the other needs to respect this at all times. To take this a step further, you can set up a specific study time where both you and your roommate take an hour or two out of the day to have a period of quiet study.
- Set up Rules for Cleaning: A college dorm room is your home away from home so keeping it nice and tidy is a must. You and your roommate should make a list as to who will do what whether that be sweeping, dusting, vacuuming or whatever cleaning your room entails. Be sure to equally divide up the work so one person is not doing more work than the other. If it helps, switch chores every week or two weeks to keep everything fair.
If there are any other rules you feel need to be put in place, bring them up in your talk with your roommate. Rules and regulations will make your first year away from home an easy transition and a positive experience in your college career.
About the Author:
Aundrea Rogers is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and is currently a public relations professional and freelancer. She has experience in public relations, marketing, media relations and social media management.
Listed below are other articles she has written for this blog:
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