Surviving roommate life

According to an article called “How to Survive Your Roommates: Eight Tips” on, roommate relationships are a primary concern for the majority of incoming freshmen. Living with a complete stranger can be nerve-wracking…until you actually get to know the person! Here are some useful tips from Encarta and other websites, designed to help you and your roommates avoid conflict as much as possible throughout the school year.

Establish Rules/Set Boundaries:
It’s important for you to get together with your roommate to discuss rules for coexistence – you guys are going to be living together for an entire year, and you don’t want to find yourselves in the midst of World War III! This is the time to let your roommate know about your living habits: do you wake up early? Do you sleep late? Can you study with music on? How do you feel about others borrowing your things? Is it okay if your roommate’s boyfriend/girlfriend is always in the room during open hours? If your roommate knows how you feel about such issues, there is a greater chance you two will have less conflict.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Whether you and roommate are extremely close or not, it is important to always treat him or her the way you would want to be treated. Set a good example and try to be considerate. Be sensitive to your roommate’s needs: displays of common courtesy and empathy strengthen relationships.

Be Ready to Compromise:
Even the best of friends are not going to agree about everything. Even though it is important to stay true to yourself, be ready to compromise in order to reach an agreement with your roommate.

Be Accepting:
You may not understand some of the quirky habits your roommate has, but try accept him or her for who they are. If you try to understand where your roommate is coming from — not only in their actions, but in regard to their backgrounds — you might be able to better understand them as a person.

Roommate Rituals:
It might be useful for you and your roommate to set aside time to spend simply getting to know each other. Even if you two are not the best of friends, it is always good to have monthly meetings or outings just to hang out, catch up and touch base with your roommate.

For more information regarding tips for roommate relations, visit Family Education or Resident Assistant.

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