For many of us, the huge step we take during our transition from high school to college is filled with butterflies in our stomachs and excitement to experience new things. Figuring out one's housing situation and looking for roommates is a fun process that can easily become stressful if things do not go as originally planned.
Some people have lived with others before or at least shared a room with their siblings so they are easier adjusted to having to share their space with someone else when they enter college. For others, having less privacy than they are used to can take some time to get comfortable with at first. The best way to enjoy your time spent at your new-found home-away-from-home is to get along well with your roommates. It will make life so much easier and eliminate the small annoyances you may find yourself complaining about to yourself.
If you hate the very people you live with and see each day, you’ll likely be adding an unnecessary stressor to your already busy college life. It is important to learn how to get along with others. This does not mean you must completely conform to the ways of your new roommates; it simply means that sometimes sacrifices are made in order to make living together comfortable for everyone.
For example, I've shared a dorm with girls who rarely communicated and when they did, it was through sticky notes randomly placed around the dorm. It was so bad that they would respond to one sticky note with another instead of just knocking on the other person's room door and talking it out together. Face-to-face or even smartphone-to-smartphone conversations are much more effective.
The biggest and most important key to a successful living experience with roommates is communication. If nothing is ever said, nothing will ever change.
A common problem that arises among roomies is when one roommate gets annoyed with another but never vocalizes that there is a problem. So, instead of talking it out, the issue remains unspoken while one roommate slowly grows angrier and angrier at the other. People cannot read your mind. You will have to communicate effectively with the people you're sharing the space with. Often times, students will stress over situations that could have been easily solved weeks ago if they had just articulated their thoughts.
Throughout my own experience with living in a dorm, I've realized that group chats are extremely useful. If I forget something important or accidentally leave my key, I don't have to worry because I have everyone's number. This also made it easier to announce things to everyone at once despite the differences in class schedules.And if you're quiet like me, you'll appreciate having the option of texting your roommates instead of confronting them in person.
You are going to college to further your education, make new life-long friends, experience new things and have fun while doing it. Do not let relationship issues be the thing that puts a damper on the experience. One major difference between university and high school is the potential to meet a more diverse group of people while there. So if your roommate isn't exactly like you, that's OK too. Being open-minded will help you and your roommates to respect each other's differences and still work together in spite of them.
If you are nervous about the kind of person you'll be paired up with for the semester, remember to treat them how you'd like to be treated and the resulting friendship will be well worth it. Keep a positive attitude and enjoy the adventures that unfold throughout your freshman year.