Whether you’re brand new to college or you are halfway through your Junior year, you deal with roommates on a daily basis. Sometimes these roommates are your best friends and will remain your best friends for years to come. Other times, you are ready to rip your hair out because you are so frustrated with your roommates. Living in a dorm is one thing, living in a dorm with new people is a whole different adventure in itself.
But don’t worry! Here are some helpful tips you can use in order to eliminate roommate drama and bring peace and harmony to your college dorm.
The best way to get rid of drama is to start out drama-less. Be friendly and kind when you first meet your roommates. First impressions are big and if you start off on a good foot with your roommate, the less likely you are to have friction and fighting down the line. This may be tough if you’re naturally an introverted person, but push yourself out of your comfort zone and be the one who instigates contact. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you will not regret it. Maybe these people are going to end up being your new best friends! You just have to be friendly, open, and kind. Remember, these relationships are a key aspect of your college experience, so treat them with that level of importance.
Communicate, Communicate, COMMUNICATE!
Any relationship, whether it be in business, in family, or day-to-day interactions, relies on good communication. Without good communication, the relationship will quickly turn south. In most cases, your roommates are not trying to ruin your life. You may be tempted to think that, but the truth of the matter is they just think differently than you.
For example, if one of your roommates has a hard time cleaning up after themselves, just talk with them. The worst thing you can do is to say nothing and let the problem go unresolved. Nothing is going to change if you don’t do something about it, and that’s just going to make you more and more frustrated. All the while, your roommate doesn’t even know you’re mad and they’re going to continue their behavior. To you, it’s a problem. To them, it’s just normal living. Talk with them, kindly voice your concerns, and work it out together.
Give and Take
As crazy as you think your roommates may be, you are sure to have a few flaws as well. Understand that if a roommate confronts you with a problem, you can probably change a few things. Listen to them, be courteous, and see what you can do to find a compromise. It’s all a game of give and take. Help them be better, but also, let them help you be better.
Compromise is king in roommate relationships. If you’re someone who tends to be a little more controlling than most, now is the time to step back and learn to relax a bit. This is where the phrase, “don’t sweat the little things” comes into play.
Little things like your roommate’s annoying cat poster, for example, are too small to even worry about. Even if it irritates you beyond comprehension, understand that there are bigger battles worth fighting.
No, we are not saying that you should be their servant. But we are saying that you should take some time and think of a few ways to serve your roommates. Some simple things you can do include:
- making/Buying them lunch
- doing the dishes for them
- giving them a ride
- inviting them to parties and other events
- giving them a compliment
- and so on!
As you can see these suggestions aren’t big, grand gestures. They are actually the exact opposite. Small, simple acts of service can be huge in bettering your relationship with your roommates. Worst case scenario, you’ll feel better about yourself and even be happier because you served them. You will also care about your roommates more since you took the time to serve them. And once you are more caring towards them, you’ll be able to work out any arguments much easier.
Sure, roommates can be tough to get along with from time to time. That doesn’t mean you are doomed to always have constant confrontations with them. Take control of the situation, be kind, be courteous, use the tips listed above, and you will be able to create valuable and worthwhile relationships with any and all roommates you will have during your college career.
For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.