Hello, all! With the arrival of the new freshmen of the Class of 2021 this fall, I thought that some tips about roommate and dorm situations would be helpful! So, welcome to Roommate Relations 101, where we will be learning more about how you can get along with your roommate. In this “course,” I will be opening up more about my experiences with my amazing roommate, Liz, and some important tips you should keep in mind regarding living in a college community.
1. Get to know your roommate (Duh!)
I cannot stress how important this “obvious” tip is! The best way to break the ice and establish some sort of familiarity with your roommate is to get to know their likes, dislikes, hobbies, dreams, habits, etc. Before coming to college, Liz and I emailed each other for weeks, and it was this ongoing communication that helped us become automatic friends! We were lucky enough to find a lot of similar interests, and the chances are that you will, too. If, by some chance, you have nothing in common, it is better to understand that early in your relationship to avoid having troubles later.
College in general is all about changes to your regular lifestyle. You’re moving to a new place, adapting to living with hundreds of people, dealing with being an adult, and most importantly, sharing a room with a stranger. This is where you have to start thinking as part of a community, instead of an individual. For example, you may like to listen to loud rock music at 1 am, and that’s great! But, your roommate or your neighbors might not share your views, and that’s something you might have to consider. But, don’t worry too much about this right now. As part of the Resident Life contract, you will have to agree on and sign a roommate agreement within your first week here.
3. Everybody’s living situation is different
One of the things to keep in mind is that, owing to the diversity at the Rochester, nobody’s living situation is the same. You might get partnered up with a complete stranger, or maybe you’ll pick your roommate beforehand. You both might be from different places, cultures, and beliefs, but ultimately, it’s something that adds on to your college experience.
4. Communication is key
The main thing that contributed to my awesome relationship with Liz was our communication; we both feel comfortable talking to each other. Whether it is one of us simply asking permission to post our pictures online, or the other staying up late and leaving a lamp on to finish work—we talk about our plans and make sure we’re on the same page. This has really helped us become close friends, and might do the same for you.
5. Spend some time together
After hearing this, you might say, “Spend more time together? We live in the same room!” And I would say, you’d be surprised at how busy you’ll get, and how fast the semester will fly by. I always make it a thing to get food with Liz or talk about our days, or make plans for the weekend. The more we spend time together, the better I get to know her, and that’s something I love about our friendship.
To conclude, I would say, put yourself out there. Your relationship with your roommate is what you make of it, and can really contribute to a memorable freshman year. Good luck to all of you, I hope you find an awesome roommate like mine!