Roommate survival

Roommates. You love them, you hate them, you need them, you date them. There is no way that living with other people can be called easy, especially in small confined spaces like dorm rooms.

For most of us, college is the first time we get a chance to live with other people, outside our families. This means that we have to learn how to coexist and problem solve as adults, with nobody accountable for our actions but ourselves. Mix that together with alcohol and stress and your set for serious disaster.

The best advice I can offer people with difficult roommates is to have a little empathy and foresight. Try to appreciate what life might be like for others before you make decisions that will affect more than yourself. This includes borrowing possesions, staying up late, and buying pets.

The same goes for inviting friends over and partying. Roommates may not share your schedule, needs, friends, lifestyle, or personal values and there’s nothing wrong with that. It just means that you might have to work together to meet each other halfway. Have people over, but make sure it’s during times convenient to them.

If they’re grumpy or antagonistic, maybe something’s going on in their lives that you’re unaware of. Maybe they are failing calculus or just received bad news from home. Maybe they grew up without siblings and never learned how to share.

If you are experiencing an issue, talk about it. Chances are, they will appreciate your perspective and want to cooperate with you. Ever noticed how uncomfortable it is when there’s an icy tension floating between angsty roommates? It’s not just you. Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable or live in an awkward environment.

When you have some time alone, get it out. Everything. Share how you are feeling and you both will feel so much better. You may learn something you didn’t know before.

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