It’s that time of year where recent high school graduates are heading to school for the first time. This big step is filled with all types of emotions. One important conversation to have with your child is to discuss the best strategies for managing the new living situation.
Getting off to a good start with your college roommate can help make your college experience much happier. You'll be spending a lot of time together, so keep these tips in mind to get along well with your new roommate.
Steps to Take While You're Sharing a Dorm Room:
- Communicate. The most important factor in any roommate situation is to communicate constructively.
- Even if you wind up socializing in different circles, make the effort to exchange daily pleasantries. Always be courteous and respectful.
- Address conflicts directly and tactfully. Creating a friendly atmosphere will make it easier to discuss the inevitable disagreements that arise.
- Establish the basic house rules. Try to prevent major conflicts by developing mutually agreeable house rules. Hopefully, you'll be able to find a level of neatness that satisfies you both. Discuss in advance your expectations about having company over in your shared quarters.
- Be willing to compromise. Sharing a tiny dorm room requires some tolerance and willingness to compromise. Speak up when you have to, but strive to accommodate personal differences that don't really impact your safety or well-being.
- Be sensitive to different financial situations. You and your new roommate may come from very different backgrounds. Help each other to feel comfortable by proposing social activities that will not create an excessive financial burden.
- Respect each other's property. Treat your roommate's property with at least as much consideration as you do your own. Ask before borrowing anything. Hold yourself responsible for anything your guests use or damage if you invite them into your shared space.
- Get outside help if needed. Many colleges and universities will ask you to wait up until a full semester before reassigning roommates. It's great life practice to learn to get along. However, if you see signs of serious issues like an eating disorder or substance abuse, it's wise to consult a trusted older adult rather than try to handle it yourself.
A little common sense and courtesy will help you and your new roommate to get along. Even if you are complete opposites, you can be cordial and provide each other with mutual support. You may even wind up becoming life-long friends.
Send me an email and let me know if you can implement these strategies – firstname.lastname@example.org.