College roommate issues

Jessica Edmondson is a senior at Oakland University earning a Bachelors of Arts in both English and Creative Writing. In her spare time she pursues the study of art and history. Jessica believes that writing allows people to experience the world through someone else’s point of view. Her interests include analytical and creative writing. She hopes to one day get her fictional stories published. Currently Jessica works as an administrative assistant at Oakland University. Jessica will be graduating in the spring of 2015 and hopes to pursue a career in copywriting or editorial writing.

Moving in with a stranger can be challenging. In 2010 I entered my freshman year of college at Oakland University, and the dorms. To say that I had high hopes for my roommate would’ve been an understatement. I’d filled out a survey in the previous months which gave me total confidence in the process of matching me with my new best friend and dorm mate.

While filling out the survey I’d stated that my primary object was to study in a quiet environment. My roommate however preferred inviting all her friends over. I wrote that I wanted to be in bed before 11pm on week nights to get up for my 8 o’clock class. She elected to come in at 4am and turn on music. Overall, we were not compatible. Throughout the week I tried to get along with her but her activities ranged from putting hair gel in my printer, to stealing my phone charger, to using all sorts of profanity when addressing me. In the end, I just couldn’t handle it and was second in line at the housing office to switch rooms the next week.

I believe that my first roommate’s primary problem with me was that I was her roommate. It wasn’t anything I did, but the fact that she didn’t want a dorm mate. When moving in with your roommate remember that sometimes it just isn’t the right fit, not something you did wrong. While waiting in line to change rooms I talked to other people who were going through similar things. Some of the residents had nice roommates but it just didn’t work out. Know that you’re never stuck with your roommate no matter if your problem is big or small.

On the other side however, your roommate might turn out to be your best friend. But even if he or she is compatible with you, it can still be hard to find a balance between your needs and theirs. Be clear and direct on what you need. Compromise will help maintain a level of respect and friendliness that is needed when living with someone. Try and connect with your dorm mate by focusing on your similarities instead of your differences

My roommate experience ended with me living with two great girls. I even got to go around and talk to other girls with room vacancies to see if we would be a good fit. In addition, while waiting for a new room assignment I had my experience put into perspective by the one person ahead of me in line. His roommate had put bleach in his shampoo bottle, and as he said it, “I just didn’t have the skin tone to be a bleach blond.” I remember thinking that if this boy was able to make a joke out of his bad roommate experience anyone could.

Overall, keep in mind that when starting college and living in the dorms, flexibility and persistence is key in achieving an experience that will stay with you for years to come. If something doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would just keep at it and you will get there.

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