Living with college roommates can be a wonderful experience but it can also be your worst nightmare. College roommates live, breathe, eat and sleep in close proximity to one another. There is no escaping the fact that your personal space and privacy will be compromised on a daily basis.
At times, you may feel your roommate’s habits, cultural differences, lack of hygiene or over-inflated sense of ego will drive you to the brink of madness.
That being said, having college roommates can lead to fun times, personal growth and lifelong friendships. So, how do you create a positive living environment with your college roommates?
Establish Ground Rules
Start your relationship on a good note by establishing ground or house rules in the very beginning. Ground rules should be in writing and should be agreed upon by all roommates. Sit down with your roommate or roommates and come up with an agreement about things like quiet time, visitors, cleaning, financial obligations, personal belongings, etc..
This written “contract” is an agreement between you and your roommates. This is a good way to establish boundaries with one another because it defines the house rules and expectations. Make sure that everyone is on the same page. If not, try to peacefully address your differences.
Communicate Openly and Truthfully With Your College Roommate or Roommates.
The earlier you start to openly and honestly communicate your needs and feelings, the better. It is safe to assume that your roommate is not a mind reader and that means you will need to express your true thoughts, needs and feelings to him or her at some point. This can be done without disrespecting or yelling at your roommate.
It is equally important to take the time to listen to what your roommate has to say. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t stop long enough to listen to what the other person might be thinking or feeling.
Never Talk About Your Roommate or Roommates Behind Their Back.
If you are frustrated with your roommate or roommate, talk to them personally: Not behind their back! Part of living with other people is learning how to address conflict and differences. It can be challenging but you will experience personal growth as a result.
Decide Who Will Be Responsible For Household Chores and the Handling of Bills.
Try to split the chores and responsibilities evenly between roommates. Make a visible calendar or checklist to know who is accountable for what.
Mutual respect and understanding are the keys to creating a positive living environment for everyone. Learn from your mistakes and if all else fails, get another roommate.