Let's face it, college is rough. Imagine throwing a bunch of kids into the same living space and expecting them to act like mature adults when half of them have never learned how to do their own laundry. And there's nothing wrong with that - everyone learns how to "adult" at their own pace, some sooner or later than others. If you live with others, there's bound to be some sort of tension over something small that eventually escalates into a huge problem. Tension is unavoidable, but conflict can be prevented, and here's how.
1. Establish ground rules with your roommates
Maybe you don't like it when Gretchen leaves her bras in the common room. As early as possible, try to get all your roommates together in a little meeting to discuss what's okay and what's not okay (what time people can come over until, cleaning up after yourself, etc). It's so much easier than waiting until something pisses you off and then speaking out. If everyone knows from the beginning, it's much more likely to be smooth sailing from there.
2. Confront the roommate instead of involving the whole suite
If you live in a suite, it's all too tempting to go up to another roommate and vent about something the other did that annoyed you. Avoid this. Drama starts when the original party finds out you were talking about them behind their back. Just tell them up front about what bothered you before you start an issue.
3. Be considerate
For a lot of kids, this is their first time being away from home. Be mindful of that and have patience with them.
4. Don't be an asshole
Sometimes you're the problem. Take a second to evaluate your actions and consider if they would bother someone else. If the answer is yes, then try to make amends right away. Remember, you're living with other people and they don't have to put up with your mess.
5. Enjoy yourselves!
Yes, college is hard and stressful. But this is the one time in your life where you don't have any REAL responsibilities to take care of, like taxes (ew) or paying your rent. Enjoy the time you have with your roommates, make friends, make connections, and just try to steer clear of anything that could potentially cause drama you don't need.