You’ve heard the stories. Even before you were thinking about applying for colleges, some family member, older friend or friend of a friend has brought up their horrible roommate experience. “They were so bad, I lost my faith in humanity after them,” or the classic, “I didn’t know if I could make it the whole year.” The Goosebumps-level exaggerations you’ve been told may make you question your first year with a random roommate, but in truth the minority of people will nd their rooming situation to be a nightmare. That doesn’t mean that even the best of roommates won’t bring in drama, however. These tips, whether used with a BFF or horror-story roomie, should make you realize you’re more likely to survive than you think.
Whether you have an overzealous partier, an uncaring messmaker, an obnoxious night owl or some new brand of bad roommate, here are some ways to work with, rather than against, your roommate.
1. TRY TO GET TO KNOW THEM.
The first step may as well start on the right foot. You don’t necessarily need to force a friendship, or instantly try to relate to everything they’re into, but base-level decency is always going to get you far with someone you’re stuck with in the moment.
2. TALK SERIOUSLY, AND OFTEN.
The roommate back and forth is an art that not even the nest conversationalists will master. Don’t expect to have perfect communication with them 100 percent of the time, but you’ll be thankful that you got your opinions, thoughts and concerns to them as much as you can.
3. PLACE YOURSELF IN A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT.
If it becomes stressful to even breathe in the same room as this person, then take yourself out of the equation as much as possible. They can’t bother you if you can’t even be bothered.
4. THINK OF YOURSELF, FOR YOURSELF.
Self-awareness can save you a lot of embarrassment when dealing with someone you may think is a jerk but might be mis- understood. If there are minor things that annoy you about your roomate, think about the minor things you do that could have the same effect and resolve to work on them together.
5. DON’T BE AFRAID OF AUTHORITY.
As much as upperclassmen may have had trouble with them, administration, RAs and the of ce of student housing are all useful outlets for serious situations within the room. Let someone know if your differences become unsolvable.
All that being said, It’s undeniably hard to follow the peace, love and understanding advocated here when you’re in the moment. And that’s fair, you’re only human (and a freshman). For many people, a person living feet away from you isn’t going to excite them, no matter how close you may get. But if you can take some of these lessons with you when you first move in and meet the person you’ll be spending the year and sharing a shower with, you can make the most of it. Besides, there’s always next year to find something better