Due to a housing shortage here at Stony Brook, 90 percent of all incoming students have been placed in a triple. As someone who lucked out and scored a single for the entirety of their freshman year, I was pissed to find out I would be sharing what was already a small space with more people than it was meant for. A warning for all the freshman out there: "Zoey 101" lied to you.
The chances of you having an experience with horror movie potential are slim, but roommate conflict is a very real thing. Lucky for all of us, it's also easily avoidable.
Be open minded
That's a really general piece of advice, but, trust me, you're only doing yourself a disservice if you walk into this with a bad attitude. Stay positive, be friendly, and try not to look like a jerk on day one.
Set ground rules early
In a forced triple, despite the fact that there are three people in the room, you'll be sharing two dressers, two desks, and two closets. That can be stressful and annoying, especially in the beginning, so set your boundaries before they're crossed. Are your roommates allowed to snag some pretzels or use your kettle? Don't say something doesn't bother you if it does, even in a small way.
Dorm life is all about compromise, but especially so in a triple. You're going to have to make a lot of concessions for the sake of everyone's sanity. Suffice to say, you won't get everything you want, but it's all for the greater good. And, really, not everything is worth fighting for.
Don't touch what's not yours
Let's refer back to the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. If you wouldn't want your roommate borrowing your shirt (or mugs, or headphones, or just about anything) then don't do that to them. If you're unsure if something is okay to use, ask first. It's as simple as that.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Rather than scribbling passive aggressive sticky notes and pasting them all over the room, try actually communicating with your roommates. And, no, that doesn't mean sending cryptic texts to the group chat. It means creating an open, face-to-face dialogue before things escalate.
Get a roommate agreement
If you can tell right off the bat that you might have some trouble with your roommates, consider reaching out to an RA and setting up a roommate agreement. You might not think this is necessary but throw out the idea just because you think it's stupid. They can help begin that dialogue and make sure no one gets steam-rolled by the bolder personality.
Find other places to be
It's a small room and, trust me, it feels smaller when everyone's in it. That's not to say you should feel like you can't be in the room. You have just as much right as anyone else, but it's always a good idea to stake out some prime study spots on campus to work other than your room (you share a desk, after all.)
Get on that waitlist
There is an opportunity to get reassigned to a new room once space opens up. You want to be on that list. Maybe you get along with both roommates. Wonderful! Good for you! But get on the waitlist. Don't feel bad for wanting to leave if you've become friends. It's not like you'll never see them again. It just means that you'll actually have the closet space you paid for.
Remember that you're all in the same boat
Chances are they feel the same way as you, maybe even more so, so try to understand where they're coming from when they call you out on something annoying. We all have bad habits and find ourselves being inconsiderate of other people, so try not to hold a grudge when things inevitably get a little uncomfortable.