Get along with your dorm roommate(s)


Ryan Ash

A pair of roommates eat lunch at the Bevier Cafe on Thursday afternoon. Setting boundaries can help negate conflict with your roommate.

By Allison Connelly, Staff Writer

As most of us know, roommates can be both a blessing and a curse. Living in a shoebox-sized, white cinderblock-walled room with the same person for nine months can be less than ideal — and you get extra points if you found each other through a roommate Facebook group. At times, you two may find yourself getting into arguments, or worse: not speaking to each other for days on end. Having my fair share of roommate experiences, here is some advice on keeping that initial friendship alive.

Openly communicate with each other

If you are getting angry at Sally for leaving her day-old mac and cheese bowls around the room, communicate that to her. Let her know you would appreciate it if she picked up after herself because “honestly, it’s starting to smell like a middle-school cafeteria in here.” And if she is annoyed with you for watching Netflix on your laptop at 1 a.m., view that criticism as a learning lesson: Be a decent human being, and use headphones. Let’s be honest, roommate changes can be awkward and consist of a lot of hoop jumping. So, whether it be a small argument or a larger dispute, it is important to discuss these problems so you two can be more pleasant to live with for the remainder of your prison sentence (communal-dorm living). 

Set boundaries

If Tim keeps asking to use your deodorant because he left his at home last weekend, be the bigger person and tell him to take the 10 minute trek to Walgreens on Green Street. And if Abby wants you to sleep on the couch in the lounge tonight because, “Mark is coming over,” let her know you’d appreciate it if she went over to his place once in a while. Besides, fraternity houses aren’t all that bad once you look past the two guys constantly playing video games three feet away from you. Living in such close-quarters with someone means issues are bound to arise. In order to prevent those extremely awkward RA-roommate talks, you need to evaluate both of your needs and establish some boundaries.

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    Don’t forget to hang out

    My last tip, and probably the most important, is to spend time with each other. You’re probably thinking, “How could I possibly spend any more time with this person?” If you have already communicated and set boundaries, this should be a piece of cake, and hey, it could even be enjoyable. If you’re moving in with a complete stranger, it is important to know a little bit about each other. If you two find you like the same music or the same hobby, play off that and cut out some time each week to do something you both enjoy.

    Now, if you’ve taken my three steps into account and it’s still just not working, well, good luck Charlie.

    Allison is a senior in LAS.

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