How to survive new room mates and being a good one yourself 101
Are you nervous about your living arrangements? Here are some tips I have come up with to help alleviate some of your stress :) Hope you enjoy!
Introduce yourself. Chances are you have been given a name and email/phone number of your prospective roomie. Find them on facebook/twitter/whatever and friend request them. Don't feel embarrassed about facebook stalking them because, let's be honest, everyone does it lol. Shoot them a quick friendly message or better yet give them a call! The phone call will make things less tense on move in day because you actually talked to a real life person before having to meet them. That way you won't feel like you are moving in with a "complete" stranger. Talk about whose bringing the mini fridge/toaster/microwave you get the idea. Don't be scared to dial them up, be the bolder one and call them :)
Make other friends. Whether you go to a large University or a small private college, showing up and not knowing a soul can be a bit intimidating for most. Some people start to lean on their new room mate as a life line and never branch out to make knew friends. You and your roomie may hit it off quite nicely and that is great but you still need to find a core group of friends not just one person. Make sure you practice this from the beginning to make it a little easier on yourself. But what if your new room mate is a clingy one and wants to be with you at all times and experience everything that college has to offer TOGETHER!? Well lol... my tip would be to switch your schedule around a little bit so you two aren't always going to the same places at the same time. Eat at different times and maybe leave and come home at opposite times. It sounds harsh put down in words but it will truly be for the best interest of the both of you. And if that new roomie is a bit timid, encourage them to get out there and meet others too.
You don't have to be BFF's. Don't put too much pressure on the relationship you will have with your room mate. Of course you hear stories of best friends who met as college freshman room mates but that is not the norm. You may have high hopes to have a story like that some day but you might be setting yourself up for a let down. Just let the relationship blossom how it's supposed to and you might be surprised at how easily you two get along. But say your room mate is nothing like you and you share nothing in common. That's ok. You guys can be awesome room mates and live very comfortably together as long as you are respectful to one another. Like I said, you don't have to be Best Friends Forever :)
Compromise Compromise Compromise. The other side of hearing the best friend college roommate stories is the horror stories of people having the most miserable time with their room mates. I know that I was dreading living with someone I didn't know and you might be as well but most problems and confrontation can be prevented with a short conversation within the first few days of you living together. Give each other time to unpack and settle in a little bit and then have a friendly conversation about some boundaries and respect. Most of the problems I've seen coming from frustrated room mates is because the "annoying one" didn't even know they were doing something that really upset the other. To prevent such problems, print off a room mate questionnaire, fill them out and trade. (you can find them online, I have listed one below but feel free to search around and find one to fit your personality). Now you and your room mate will know exactly what irks the other and then that will give you a start on how to compromise with one another. For example: If you are a die hard Justin Bieber fan, you could listen to his music all day every day and you want to cover every bit of wall space you have with his posters; but Bieber is a deal breaker for your roomie, then be respectful and listen to him when their not home or with headphones when they are and compromise down to one or two posters (come on, you are an adult in college now. Don't throw a fit about your posters lol). Just find out each others deal breakers and learn to compromise!
And above all that's been listed... Don't talk trash!
So your room mate is messy, stays up late and has poor taste in music (that they have playing loudly 24/7). Maybe they like to burn a nasty smelling candle that they claim helps them study better but it makes all your clothes reek. Or maybe they are uptight and have a 7:30 pm sharp bedtime but they get mad when you have to turn the lights on to see when you get home from night class. Regardless of the annoyance (and remember most of this can be prevented or alleviated with a quick conversation with each other) Don't be going around telling everyone and their cousin's sister how awful of a room mate you have. It's just plain not nice. You wouldn't want them going around talking about how annoying you are, coming home super late and flipping the light on while they are sleeping, would you? No. Talk to your roomie and let them know what's bothering you instead of everyone else. People are different and just because he/she likes going to bed super early doesn't make them wrong. Just like you staying up late isn't wrong either. It's just a different way of doing things and it's all in personality and preference. Talk it out and make a respectful negotiation. :)
Learn from one another.
I honestly believe that sharing a room with someone that you don't know very well is kind of like a buffer for the real world of confrontation lol. For many people, college is where you experience real life for the first time away from your parents. Just get this in your head now.. not everyone grew up the same as you did and probably don't have the same family dynamic as you: therefore you won't see eye to eye with every person, even your room mate, and that's ok! A practice that I try and incorporate in my life is learning from the good and the bad. People are in our life for a reason. As a whole, some are good examples and some are bad but everyone has a good quality (hopefully lol) to learn from and maybe a bad quality that you know to be conscious of yourself. To explain myself better let's just say you are super duper schedule oriented and organized (to a fault) but your room mate is chill and go with the flow.... learn from them and relax a little, take some time to smell the roses. Likewise, if you are super laid back and sometimes wake up late and forget to turn in assignments on time.. take some pointers from your organized roomie and become more responsible. Learn from each other!
Disclaimer: Any of the situations or annoyances with room mates that I have listed are NOT from past experiences with MY own room mates. I just came up with these things off the top of my head for examples lol. So Sarah, Collin, Kirsten and Bethany, you can breath easy knowing none of these things are pointed at you :)
If you have any more suggestions or a past experience that you would like to share, please feel free to comment below and help these people who are about to venture into the new world of dorm life!!
Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and let's choose to be happy!! :)