How to Start Off On the Right Foot With Your Roomie


By Amanda Cross, Student at the University of Central Arkansas

Living with a roommate can be tough, especially when it’s the first time you’ve shared a room with someone. Sharing space in small, cramped quarters can get irritating, claustrophobic and just all-around horrible.

Having a good relationship with your roommate can help ease the tension of living in residence halls. Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Make rules
When setting up roommate rules, don’t leave it up to chance. Spend as much time as you need to craft fair, in-depth rules with your roommate. When you first arrive at college, you’ll want to do more exciting activities right away and may not think about the rules that much.

If you sit down and create stable and detailed rules, you will thank yourself later. Making rules together is a good way to bond with your roommate, learn to compromise a little and find out more about her likes and dislikes.

2. Don’t break rules:
If you take the time to set them up, don’t break them. Your relationship will grow if you are as courteous to her as she is to you.

3. Make time for her:
You can’t possibly grow as a roommate duo if you never spend time with her! Set up a day of the week where the two of you have lunch, have a movie marathon or do homework together.

Being able to talk about your problems doesn’t come easy, so setting up this kind of relationship early with your roommate really does help in the long run.

4. At the same time, give your roommate space:
You are both trying to make new friends, so don’t be the person who wants to constantly be around her roommate. Give each other time alone and hang out with other friends.

This will get you off on the right foot because it will give both of you time to recuperate from having to share a room with another person so much.

5. Be the roommate you want to have:
All in all, just be the roommate that you’d want. If you are about to do something, think about if it would irritate you. Before you write that passive-aggressive note and stick it on the mirror, think for a second … would you want your roommate to do it to you? If the answer is no, don’t do it.

The thing about talking out your problems is that the longer you don’t talk about them, the harder it is to talk about them. It’s best to be upfront and honest.

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