7 Tips To Make You The Best College Roommate

7 Tips To Make You The Best College Roommate

As told by my amazing roommate, Emma.

I'm basing all of this on my amazing roommate, Emma, who is quite possibly the best roommate and friend anyone could ever have. Basically, just be her, and you'll never be able to go wrong with the room-sharing situation.

1. Introduce yourselves BEFORE you get to campus

Make sure you shoot your roommate an email before you both get to campus. Introduce yourself, let them know who you are, what you like, things you could potentially bond over, things that you need them to know about yourself, exchange phone numbers. Be friendly and welcoming, but also clear. Even if all you really want to do is figure out what shared items you're each bringing so you don't bring duplicate stuff, make sure you reach out. It can be really comforting knowing that the potential first person you'll meet on campus is friendly.

2. Wish each other a good day

Emma always wishes me a great day, no matter what's happening. Whenever I'm leaving out the door, she tells me to have a great day, to have fun at my event, to feel better if I was having a bad day. If I've already left, she shoots me a quick text full of smilies and happiness. And honestly, it makes all the difference. Just knowing that someone out there cares about you, is thinking of you, hoping you have a good day puts such a positive spin on the day. It truly makes you feel better. Always make sure you do this, with your roommate, with your best friend. It's important to know someone is out there.

3. Keep up with each other's schedules

Especially with the important things in their lives. This goes hand-in-hand with wishing each other a good day; you should know when the other has something big coming up, and offer support in anyway you can. Even if that's just shooting them a text to wish them luck or tell them they've got this. Knowing the other person's schedule also means that you'll be respectful of their space. If they've got a big midterm the next day, you'll know not to come in at 3 am being extremely obnoxious. Keeping up with schedules is really important when learning to respect each other's space.

4. Ask if you're going to use each other's stuff

Even if we've agreed to share everything, if something's on her side or that she specifically brought for herself, I always try to ask before I use something of hers, and she does the same. It's the simple matter of respecting each other's space. This is really hard to do sometimes, especially when you've never lived with someone before. But just making sure you pay attention to their feelings and what they say, and when you're communicating make sure you're always clear and succinct. It only makes everything work much more smoothly.

5. Be clean

No matter what, people just don't like living in a messy environment. Keeping your stuff tidy and kept together, cleaning up the floors, your dirty laundry, etc., keeps your roommate happy. Emma and I pride ourselves in our meticulously kept room. Neither of us has ever lost our stuff or tripped over each other's stuff while in our room, while so many of our friends have. It's just so much easier when everything's clean.

6. Talk about the things that are bothering you

Never keep anything that's bothering you inside. Never ignore the problems. Always talk about them. Always talk about the issues you're facing with each other. Communicating works. It makes the problems easier to solve. They won't know what's bothering you if you don't tell them. Roommates are regular people, not mind-readers.

7. Learn each other's quirks and do random acts of kindness for each other

If you know your roommate likes the cookies from the dining hall, maybe you bring them back a cookie after you go to lunch and leave it on their desk. Maybe they forgot to do something, and you help them out. Maybe you leave them a cute note. Whatever it is, little thoughtful acts keep the peace between you two and make the other person's day.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Carter

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Joining My Sorority Changed My Life

There is more to Greek life than meets the eye.

When I started my first semester of college, I was shy, nervous and a little lost. I made some mistakes, lost my footing and attempted to get my act together. Moving eight hours away to a place where I knew absolutely nobody was the scariest thing I've ever done, but the one thing that made it ten times more bearable was the decision to rush.

Since move-in weekend, the "The Possibilities Are Endless" recruitment fall 2017 flyers were hung up in every hallway from my dorm to my classrooms. Coming into Ohio, I said I would never rush. Greek life has had a bad reputation among many and it didn't seem like the right thing for me. But I kept stopping by to read those flyers, paying attention to the block letter sweaters that sorority girls wore to class, and couldn't help but stare as I walked past the sorority houses on campus.

Ultimately, I decided to rush. What should hold me back? Nothing.

So I stepped out of my safe little bubble and walked into 10 houses of girls screaming the "Go Greek" song at the top of their lungs for two weekends in a row, and man it was the best decision I've ever made. Walking out of Alpha Omicron Pi for the last time before bid day, I never would've imagined what an impact this chapter would have on my life in such a short period of time.

After one semester, I had met my closest friends, not only in college but life in general.

Since day one, these girls have treated me better than the shallow friends I had known for years back home in high school. Throughout the entire first semester, if I ever needed anything, ran into trouble, needed advice or a shoulder to cry on after a bad week, all I had to was say the word and my sisters would be waiting for me in their rooms. They are the reason I made it through those first difficult months away from home, that bad exam or that one aching heartbreak.

What so many people don't realize is that the awful stigmas, stereotypes and bad reputations that Greek life has are not true at all. From the outside, it's easy to brand us as shallow girls who all wear the same clothes and act the same way. But we all know that you can't judge a book by its cover, and the same thing applies for judging sororities.

You can't know what it's like unless you've gone through recruitment or have joined yourself,

Recruitment teaches us valuable conversational skills, how to look nice, and present ourselves in the best image possible. All these qualities are important life skills when it comes to future job interviews. We host charity events for our philanthropy, helping those in need, and have mandatory service/volunteer hours we must complete each semester. Every chapter has a minimum GPA that their members must meet in order to remain in the organization.

The general idea that those who are in Greek life are not serious about their studies, slack off and don't get good grades is one of the biggest lies I've ever heard. Here at Ohio University, the average GPA of members in Greek life is actually higher than the overall GPA of the rest of the student body.

If that doesn't speak for itself, then I don't know what will.

Being in a sorority teaches us how to balance sisterhood and studies. Older sisters are always willing to lend help to the new freshmen if they're struggling with a difficult class the others have taken before. We always put our academics first, and social life second.

My sorority taught me how to lift each other up, to tell your sisters you're proud of them, to tell them you love and appreciate everything they do.

With these amazing women, I've had the time of my life in college. From date parties, to bid day, family dinners and socials, these are the memories I will cherish forever. It's made me a better, more dedicated and happier person. Thanks to my chapter, many opportunities have opened up to me.

I know I'll always have a home there and friends who run to me with open arms after being away for an entire month over break. And it means the world to have such loving people who worry about you and miss you every day when you're away.

There truly is no way to express my gratitude for Alpha Omicron Pi, and I hope that others will see this and realize there is so much more to sororities than meets the eye.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Kropov

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Thoughts About A 21st Birthday

Turning twenty-one has its pros and cons.

In life, we all have the "useless" birthdays. These birthdays are nothing but a celebration of turning another year older. This is kind of how I felt last year when, in February, I became twenty. But twenty-one is considered a milestone, especially for American youth. In the long run, how unique is gaining another responsibility?

I only question this, and slightly dread it, because there is more that comes with being twenty-one. For myself, a female, being this old means I am required to receive Pap smears in South Carolina, a procedure I do not like in the least. If you don't know what this is, well, they put a plastic thing inside you to open the region up and check the cervix for cancer. It isn't pleasant for me for multiple reasons.

But, back to what everyone knows about this age: drinking and the ability to purchase whatever kind you like.

I will probably enjoy being able to drink here. Thing is: I've had alcohol before. In Europe and Mexico, everything is a bit more relaxed, and it is indeed an excellent experience to learn what wine tastes like, or alcohol in general, and how to be a responsible drinker. Have I snuck some vodka in a tea before while on a trip? Yeah, and it was good. So, in hindsight, I've already had a taste of that part. But I'm celebrating regardless of experience.

Also, I'm going to be happy to be twenty for the next little bit. Do I know what I'm doing with my life? Not necessarily. And it will be a while until I do. But that is the point of being at this stage. And another year won't change that.

Yeah, I'm happy it is coming up, and that I get to see my friends and family, but I have only lived a short part of my life. More milestones will top this one, and they might not even be birthdays. But I'm still glad to be able to celebrate with those I love.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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