It is the summer before freshman year, and many of you are highly anticipating the release of your schools roommate and living situations. At Penn State, students wait until the end of July to find out what dorm they will be assigned to, as well as who they will be rooming with. The anticipation can be exciting, but it can definitely be scary. For many of you, this will be the first time you will have to share a room with someone else- as well as your belongings, your sleep schedule and new ways of college life. Well, no need to worry anymore, I am here to share with you the must-have tips for successfully living with a roommate!
1. Compromise is Key: It is going to be hard not always getting your way, I’ll admit it now. There are going to be times in which you will want to go to bed, and your roommate wants to stay up until wee hours of the night cramming for an exam. There are going to be weekends in which you will want friends from back home to come and visit, and your roommate has the same idea planned for the same weekend. There are going to be nights where you will want to go out to a party, and your roommate will want a girls night in. So, what happens now? Well, it is going to sound cliche, but compromise is key! Give and take, it makes life a lot easier in the long run.
2. Keep Each Other Informed: Make sure that both of you are well aware of things coming up, especially if it affects the other person. It is basic common courtesy, but it also keeps life together running smoothly. My suggestion, keep a small calendar in a mutual area of your room, and both of you add your important events as they come along. The benefits of this are that it is visible to both sides, and it can keep some issues and arguments away before they begin. Also, leave little notes and reminders as things approach, just giving that extra notice in case something happened to go under the radar.
3. Be Open with Each Other: It is easy to close each other off and just get angry when something doesn’t go your way. Trust me, it happens. It is also preventable, or manageable if it does occur. If there is something you have an issue with, speak up. Have a talk with your roommate and let them know what is bothering you, but be willing to listen to the other side also. Work out your issues early, and try to keep tensions to a minimum. Living in close quarters is difficult, so communication is a must!
4. Keep Others Out of Your Drama: Yes, there are going to be times in which you were wishing you were living alone- but keep your issues to yourself. Do not go out venting to all your floormates about the issues you two are having, and above all do not trash your roomie or their reputation to get ahead. In time, you two will resolve your little quarrels and having the bad past will effect your future. Keep is clean ladies!
5. Have Fun and Make the Best of It: Some of you will become best friends with your roommate, and others of you will be acquaintances that happen to live together. Either way, find ways to make it fun. It can be something as simple as having a weekly “roomie date” such as going to dinner or running for ice cream, to having girls-night-in and hanging out on a Friday night. Do whatever works out best for the two of you. The year is going to fly by- so make the most of it and enjoy!
Living together does not mean you have to be best friends, and spend every waking moment together- but it also doesn’t mean you have to only see each other when it is time to go to sleep. Keep your options open, and go with the flow. Do not push anything either way. Play it by ear, and truly enjoy it. Living with your freshman roommate is an experience you will only get once- let it be a memory that you will never forget. And as always, if you need further advice, I am here to help you out! Good Luck Ladies!