College life is an exceptional part of your existence. Here you get all the necessary knowledge, make friends for the lifetime, party all night and have a possibility to try how it feels to be an adult. Anyways, there are some things that can spoil your unique experience of a college life. And one of them is your… roommate. He (or she) has all the necessary means to actually turn your existence into a living hell. What can trigger the local war between you two and how to avoid it?
Larry Marks, PhD and psychologist at the University of Central Florida Counseling Center, says: “Usually conflicts seem to arise around the classic issues — cleaning, sleep schedules, study habits, friends, personal habits, and communication. For most students, this is the first time they have lived with unknown roommates for an extended period, and it requires them to draw on skills of compromise, negotiation, and thoughtfulness in new ways… Usually, if you talk things through and plan the situation with a friend, as students should do with a random roommate, living with a friend will work out well and can be an enjoyable and supportive experience. It seems the horror stories are usually about roommates who did not know each other.”
The Best Way to Win the War is to Prevent It
Rule number one: not all roommates are as scary as they are described. You can make co-living with another student super comfortable, if you:
- simply talk to your roommate about yourself and your needs – and about his needs as well. Try to solve all the problems since the very beginning. Make an agreement on the aspects of cleaning, buying food, define quiet hours and create the conditions for privacy;
- create a schedule of chores;
- check up your plans with each other. Show concern for your roommate’s needs – and if he/she is a normal person, he/she will pay you back with the same concern.
What if the War Is Waged Already
So, you have talked everything through, but your roommate ignores the schedule of chores, breaks every deal you have made up with him and talks rudely. How can you deal with it?
- Do not be like him. Try to speak politely. Okay, if your temper fails you – at least keep your fists away from his face.
- Talk the situation through with your friend first – that will help you decrease your emotions and to calm down.
- Do not discuss the problem in public. There is no need to let everyone know about your private issues.
- When talking with your roommate, try to listen whatever he has got to say and accept your responsibility for wrong actions if you are responsible for them. Remember, you want peace and therefore you two should work on the solution of your problems together.