Midterms. Finals. Pop quizzes. Finances. Men (ugh). All these obstacles we face during college leaves us no time for any extra drama. Our expectations for school (college) are high-very high. We are extremely excited to start a new chapter in our lives- and most importantly experience freedom. That’s right. This is probably the first time in our lives where we can live on our own. Know what that means? We go to sleep when we want, eat what we want, and do almost whatever we want. This type of freedom is a little risky and wild, but a little fun never hurt nobody.
Hardly do we ever take into consideration (when we’re fantasizing about how many parties or kickbacks we can throw in our dorm rooms) the other factor that could completely blow all of our fantasies. The roommate! This person whom we probably never met in our lives can be the best thing that’s ever happened to us or our worst nightmare!
I can remember the summer before I started college. I was stoked to be finally leaving my mother’s hinges and really beginning adulthood, on my own! I picked a school that wasn’t far from home so I could visit my friends and family if I ever felt homesick. But the one thing I was most excited about was having a roommate. I already had it in my head she would be the sister I never had. We would stay up late, eat pizza, do our homework together, talk about boys, share each other’s clothes, and basically do everything together!
Luckily my school provided us with our roomie’s contact information to get acquainted before we moved in. I remember when I called her, we talked on the phone for hours getting to know each other! Call it luck, but I loved my roommate and was stoked to start school to meet her. We had everything in common. On move in day we were both really shy. It took us a while to get adjusted to each other but we made it work and became best friends!
Now I know everyone’s roomie experience isn’t all glitz and glamour like mines, but there are ways to make it work. You and your new roommate might be total opposites. She might be into loud music in the mornings while you might like to listen to nothing but the shower water falling from the shower head. He might like to blow one, while the only green you want to smell, are the ones from your front lawn. What I’m saying is you two might be complete opposites which could either make it the hardest year of your life or run by like a cool breeze.
I’ve provided a few tips to cope with a new roomie situation. I may not be an expert on roommate-tionships (yes I made it up) but I can surely give some advice…or two.
- Schedule a Pre-Meetup: Before moving in with this new person, please try to have a conversation with them. It’s better to meet or at least talk to the new person you will be moving in with, who all your personal belongings will be around, and who will probably watch you sleep- well not literally watch you sleep (I hope not)- but you get the picture. If there is a way you can chop it up with your new living buddy, then please do so. It’s better to get a sense of who you will be living with BEFORE actually moving in with them. This way you two can discuss the important things like who’s bringing what, sleeping schedules, background info, you know basically the boring stuff.
- Work out a sleeping schedule: Sleep is probably the most important thing (besides food) that can make or break us if we don’t have enough of. If your roommate is a late sleeper and you tend to fall asleep after your primetime shows are complete, then a sleeping schedule is very important. This can be the cause of countless fights and misunderstandings if the two of you have different sleep schedules. If you or your roommate like to stay out late and party and plan on coming in at a certain time on certain nights, than please discuss this. I know being woke up in the middle of the night when you have an 8 A.M Biology class is something we all try to avoid, but can happen. So let’s limit the wakeups by simple communication.
- Having Company: Now we all know our roommate is probably not our only friend we will make in college. We want to form as many connections and as many friendships we can to make this the best college experience. While we might not be bothered by random popups from a friend or five, our roomie might. If you know you are going to be Mr. or Misses popularity in college and you met a bunch of friends during orientation, tell them certain times to make random visits. After nine at night may be too late and before ten in the morning may be too early. It’s best to work out a schedule with your roommate and buddies to come to an understanding on what times and days work best for the both of you.
- Sharing Food: I know I mentioned food briefly above, but I can’t end this check list without mentioning our bff food! I know sleep is something we are very sensitive about, but food is probably just as important. If you’re lucky, you have a mini refrigerator in your room. Your mom and aunty probably supplied you with one during your going away party or you and your roomie split the cost for one. Whatever the case may be, this mini refrigerator can cause many arguments. If you are the type of person who hates sharing food and you spent your last on that frozen pizza in the freezer, then please talk to your roomie about keeping their hands and mouths off of your food. Tell them to let their friends know as well because it’s one thing for them (your roommate) to eat your food, but for their company to be making a sandwich with your bread, meat, and cheese…now that’s another story!
I hope I was some assistance today and aided in the stop of an argument between you and your roomie. Remember communication is key and the list I provided above all leads back to one thing-communication. No matter how much you think you know your roommate or no matter how good they think they know you, you both will find out when someone ate the last hot pocket or woke you up an hour before your alarm went off…and it won’t be pretty. Have a wonderful college experience and remember communication is key to any relationship!
Written by: Simone Grant