I didn't really know what to expect coming to college about the living situation. I actually had a triple my first semester and one roommate moved out so the past several months it has just been me and one roommate. The triple was a different experience but really the main difference has been the space. It was so cramped last semester and this past semester we have had more space than we need. Over the past year I have learned several things about sharing your space with someone else. Hint: it isn't easy.

The first thing I learned was how important patience is. More likely than not you and your roommate are not going to get along perfectly and your preferences for how you want the room to be won't be the same either. Sometimes you are going to want something to be cleaned, put away, or vacuumed right when you want it to be but if you want to take turns and really share the room, you have to just let your roommate get around to it when she does. And if it takes longer than reasonable, a friendly reminder isn't wrong.

Another thing I learned is the importance of compromise. This sounds like a no brainer but it is something that those of us who have always had our own bedroom aren't used to. Sometimes you will want the AC on while your roommate won't and you both are going to have to realize that there needs to be middle ground. Maybe she turns it off while you're both studying and then you turn it on for sleep. Both of you are never going to get everything exactly the way you want it all the time and that's completely ok.

Something else I realized is that it's hard to have alone time. If your roommate is someone who studies in the room, does everything in the room and pretty much never leaves, you are going to have a hard time finding some time in the room without them. This doesn't seem like a big deal but watching Netflix alone is a lot different compared to watching it with headphone while someone else is in the room. Especially when we are constantly around others in college it can be exhausting never feeling like you have some alone time just by yourself.

Along those lines, I noticed how loud the dorm is as a whole. Not just someone else getting up and getting ready for the day while you're trying to sleep but also everyone else in the building. You can hear people outside, upstairs, in the hall, literally everywhere at pretty much every hour of the day. It can be frustrating if you're trying to sleep while everyone else seems to be throwing a dance party but it's just one of those things. Headphones can be helpful and so can an extra pillow to go over your head :).

Finally something that is key to having a good time in your dorm is communication. If you want to have people to the room before going out, ask. It doesn't take much effort to send your roommate a text and if they say no for that night you can always have people over another time. A lot of problems arise when roommates aren't communicating and a lot of ~awkward~ situations can be avoided just by sending a short text message.

Living in a dorm is fun but it's not easy. It's like a never ending sleepover and sometimes the communal bathrooms and your roommate's habits can get really old. However, it's something that most of us will only do for one or two more years of our lives so we have to find the positives and learn to deal and grow from the negatives.