Most people that travel somewhere away from home in order to study at a university will be put in a dorm of some form. This means that most likely, you will be put in a room with at least one more person. Sharing a space with someone you don’t know can be really tricky and it’s important to know how to behave in this newfound relationship. You might think that all your hardships such as Retaking GCSEs earned you the right to decide what goes, but being mindful of others is a godsend. The first piece of advice would be to ignore anything you might have seen in college movies for teens, since they don’t really reflect real life expectations. Here are some other tips for how to get along with your college roommate.
Set boundaries from the start
It’s very important that you both go into this new experience knowing exactly what to expect from each other. Don’t just let things slip off your tongue when it suits you, like “you know what, I forgot to mention I don’t want that”. Be prompt about what you want but also be ready to hear them out about what they want. This goes both ways as you absolutely need to respect their property and their needs. You should ask permission before using their fork, if they have brought their Kitchen essentials at university, for example. By being respectful of these things, you show that you aren’t hard to live around.
Respect their room and privacy
Sharing space isn’t just about the physical real estate but also about personal space and privacy. Bringing people over to your room all the time might suit you, but it might be uncomfortable or annoying for your roommate. Ask if they mind, and if they say “yes” don’t be upset. It’s extremely important to be mindful of their personal space, so that you may expect the same in return.
Always prioritize room security
If you have to leave the room, even for the slightest moment, make sure to lock behind you and also to close the windows. The chances for someone to break in might be small, but it’s still way too big. You’re not responsible just for your stuff but also for your roommate’s stuff. If their valuables go missing on your watch, you’re going to be in trouble, and you’re still going to have to share a living space with that person.
Have an open mind and try new things
If your roommate is from a completely different background, they might bring all kinds of new foods, habits or experiences into your life. Be open to try them out, and maybe you’ll find that it really suits your own lifestyle. It’s also a great way to have something in common with your roommate. You don’t have to become an adept of Mexican food overnight or start going nuts for paintball sessions. But if these are things that your roommate invites you to, give them a try.
Getting along with your roommate shouldn’t be that difficult. Even if it seems like there’s nothing in common you could share, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly. Remember that you don’t have to be best friends necessarily, so don’t try too much. But more than anything else, just treat them the way you’d like to be treated.