Roommates, Suitemates, and Hallmates: What to expect while moving in.

Written by Allison :)

Some of us grew up with a house full of children; some siblings, others cousins, and for some just that neighborhood kid who is always around. For others, they have grown up an only child, used to having their own room and own belongings. Regardless of whether you are an only child, or one of fifteen, adjusting to sharing a room with someone outside your family can be difficult at times.

Many enter college hoping that they will make lots of very good friends, one of those being their roommate. The problem arises when the roommate you are assigned isn’t quite who you thought you’d be living the next 9 months with. The key to getting along with your roommate is to go into the relationship with an open mind. Some end up with a roommate just like them, while others are assigned somebody that is very unlike themselves.

My freshman year, I was lucky to have chosen my roommate early on, and I had a feeling we would get along, but then again, that was all just based on facebook posts. And although looking at her profile made me think we would click instantly, facebook isn’t always the best judge of character. I was smart about my decision and made attempts to contact my roommate before requesting her and we talked for a long time before deciding to room together. For many, this is a luxury you didn’t, or no longer have, roommates have been decided, and you have never talked to your assigned roommate in your entire life. Well, now is the time to start. Add your roommate as a friend, and send them a little message to get to know them. Even if they don’t seem like the type you are normally friends with, you could be surprised. My roommate my freshman year turned out to be my very best friend at Furman, and I am so glad to have met her.

Now, you can’t get along with everyone. And even friends get on each others’ nerves every once and a while, it’s just a part of life. What matters is not what happened that got you angry or annoyed, but how you handle the situation. Talk to your roommates and suitemates ahead of time to lay down some ground rules. If you’re a neat freak living with a less than cleanly person, adjust! Life is about adapting to your environment, and learning to live and work with all kinds of people! Compromise on certain things, like how often the bathroom needs to be cleaned (and yes boys, it does have to be cleaned SOMETIMES), how late you can have others in the room, and whether or not you need to wear headphones while the other one is working. Laying out ground rules in the beginning of the year is important so that both sides understand the boundaries. Roommate contracts are created in the beginning of the year, and they really help sort out what are and are not acceptable behaviors. And although conflicts still might pop up, they are much easier to deal with.

Lay out your ground rules, compromise, and make sure to give everyone a chance. College is no fun if you spend all your time finding conflict with others. All in all, go in with an open mind. Get to know your roommate, their likes and dislikes, and you just may be surprised.

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About engagedlivingfurman

This page is for the Furman Engaged Living Program. It will serve as a way to keep EL students informed over the summer and throughout the year on things happening within the program, and to answer questions they may have.

Posted on July 16, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Excellent post Allison! I agree completely.

    I decided to go the route of the roommate survey and be assigned a roommate. We talked some on facebook and exchanged cellphone nnumbers. We even tried to schedule a Skype chat (though because of schedules, it didn’t happen). Going into it, I thought she seemed nice, but I didn’t really know much about her. I might not have known her and she wasn’t like the people I normally call friend, but we became friends. We had our boundaries, like a designated common space in the room and a side for her and a side for me. One thing I would suggest without a doubt is always ask before borrowing something of your roommate’s. It’s just common courtesy. Best of all, it’s an experience you’ll never forget and that’s what college is about. :)

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