Let’s face it, while living with a roommate has it advantages, it can be challenging as you get to know each other. Here are a few tips on how to communicate and establish some ground rules with your new roommate.
Get-to-know Each Other.
This is your first opportunity to make a new friend. Take the time to ask and answer questions – about family, hobbies, academic interests, and so forth.
Talk It Out
Communication is key in building a successful relationship. Talk about issues as they arise and devise a plan to resolve them. The sooner they get cleared up, the better your living arrangements will be.
Be Open and Friendly
You and your roommate may not have the same taste in clothing or music, but you likely share some of the same concerns and apprehensions. Be the first to step out of your comfort zone—and remember—you’re in this together.
Everyone has bad days. You may not be aware of the issues your roommate is dealing with, but there’s most likely a good reason for his/her actions. A sympathetic ear can go a long way.
Give Each Other Space
Togetherness is great, but too much of a good thing can be problematic. You and your roommate both need alone time. If that time doesn’t occur naturally, talk about it and find a way to create some quiet time for the both of you.
Ask Before Your Borrow
Suddenly you have twice the wardrobe! But everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to lending belongings. Asking first helps avoid misunderstanding.
Whether you’re a neat freak or a slob, you have someone else’s feelings to consider. With a little give-and-take, you can each adjust accordingly and make your environment comfortable.
Discuss Visitation Hours
Talk about when it’s okay and when it’s not to have visitors in the room.
Pick One Co-Curricular Activity to Share
There’s nothing like having something in common that you and your roommate can talk about. If you aren’t involved in any of the same activities, you are likely to see each other only at bedtime. You may feel like you’re sleeping in a room with a stranger. Make an effort to come up with a few activities that you and your roommate both enjoy—whether that means relaxing with a yoga class or exploring the island together—it can be a great opportunity to connect one-on-one.
Schedule Study Hours
Let your roommate know in advance when you have a big test or paper coming up. He/she will know to give you some quiet time. Better yet, ask your roommate if they would like to join you in studying!