Across the dorm: Dealing with roommates
Having basic rules in the dorm room can solve problems before they even start.
May 25, 2016
Things can be exciting or terrifying when you find out that you got assigned to be roommates with your friend from high school or get someone at random who is from the other side of the world. Everyone with roommates knows that you will eventually have a problem with them or them with you. Sometimes you will be able to iron the issues out, other times it will prove to be more difficult. Even when you and your roommate are very different, basic rules can make the living situation easier.
The most important thing to do is to set strict ground rules before you get to campus. Whether it is restrictions on having guests over, how loud music can be or upkeep of the room, make sure to set those standards early and get them on paper.
Try posting them on a fridge or the main door so that people are reminded of the standards they need to hold. The important part is these standards need to be concrete. Set a number on how many people you can have over, or set a time when you can’t play loud music. These make the rules clear and prevent your roommate from worrying and having a vague idea of what everyone’s expectation is.
Another important aspect is to speak up when you are having a problem with something your roommate is doing. If you don’t, things can get worse without solving anything. If the standards you set are not being met, meet with your roommate or try to make sure that they follow the ground rules, or change the rules if you have to. This can ensure that even if you realize someone is difficult to live with that you guys will be able to iron out your differences and have a happy environment. If you need to, know that these rules can vary on a case by case basis.
To make sure all of this works out, it is vital that everyone can keep in contact. There could be an explosion in the microwave, you could get food everywhere or you may have found out you have a bad cold. When problems like that do arise, make sure that you and your roommates stay in contact so that they have an idea of what to expect and can help deal with problems with the space you live in as soon as they happen. It can also give both people a clear idea of how something happened and to know if you need to let your RA know, and what to do if you can prevent issues from reoccurring.
Lastly, just make sure everyone is having fun. Your room should be a place where you and your roommates can relax, hangout, and forget about the stresses of life and schoolwork. In the end, you are stuck with the person, whether they are random or they are your best friend from high school. So try to make the most out of this experience known as dorm life.
Masaki is a senior in Media.