Whether you have grown up with a house full of siblings or have never before shared your close living quarters with anyone else, you may be anxious about moving into dorm housing and be fearful that you will not get along with a new roommate. While sharing a small dorm room with a roommate inevitably comes with plenty of difficulties, it is an excellent component to your college experience and will help you transition to the independence of adulthood. In fact, it is not so rare to hear about two randomly paired roommates coming from miles apart discovering they have many common interests and becoming friends for life. In order to put your best foot forward and increase your happiness in the first months of college, read on to find our top three most essential tips for getting along with your roommate.
1. Make a Good First Impression
Like it or not, humans are hard-wired to make immediate judgments about a person within the first few seconds of meeting them. Therefore, whatever impression you give of yourself when meeting up with your new roommate the first time is likely to stick with them for the long haul. In order to display yourself in a positive light, make sure you are as amiable, open-minded, and friendly as possible the first day, even if you are exhausted from the move in. Beyond making plenty of eye contact and using all of your manners, be sure you show a significant interest in getting to know more about your new roommate. If he or she likes you from the start, there will be a higher likelihood that your roommate will respect your needs.
2. Establish Clear Rules and Boundaries
Once you get your room settled, it is recommended that you sit down with your roommate to create a clear set of rules and boundaries. Do not be afraid to simply ask what his or her needs are and share your requirements in a living arrangement too. Although you definitely want to avoid coming off as bossy, you should calmly describe your ideal living environment while politely listening to your new roommate’s needs. Since waiting to have this talk later in the semester will provide the opportunity for conflict from clashing lifestyles, it is essential to get this out of the way the first week for creating a comfortable vibe.
3. Facilitate Open Communication
One of the key factors required to build a successful relationship within the small spaces of dorm rooms is open roommate communication. Do not shy away from taking to your roommate and having important conversations simply because you are afraid to hurt their feelings or create an awkward atmosphere. Whenever your roommate does something inappropriate or breaks a rule, let them know immediately. If you let problems pile up and ruminate without properly addressing them with a little chitchat, then the relationship will begin to sour. Make certain that you always remain open to communication and address any conflicts to defuse them quickly as a team.
While you may not become best friends with your roommate, it is important to build a healthy relationship to ensure that you can avoid conflict and added stress during your first year of college. In addition to using these critical tips to get along with a new roommate, do not forget to follow the Golden Rule by treating them exactly like you would like to be treated and respecting their rights in your dorm room.