Hello College! Hello never getting enough sleep, occasionally forgetting to eat, never having any time for yourself, and (at least for some) having to share a tiny dorm room. 

BUT! Also hello to beautiful new friendships, studying what you love, and growing in independence and integrity. 

But wait… Sharing a room? Yeah I don’t know about that. Trust me, I thought the very same thing. It can be frightening at the prospect of not having personal space, sharing utilities, or even asking them to stop clogging the sink with bits of food instead of just throwing it away. (Yep! That’s a thing!) So here are some tips for dealing with having a roommate in college (or just in general). 

1. Get to know him/her/them

You do NOT have to be BFF’s with your roommate. Especially if you have different majors, different friends, or different lifestyles, being close with someone you live with can be challenging at times. However, not being “besties” does not automatically mean that you have to be enemies, either. You can still get to know them and be a “home base” of support if the other person ever needs it. There is a happy medium!

2. Be flexible

Understand both of your needs are equally as important. While some things about your roommate could possibly bug the snot out of you, that is not cause to fly off the handle or even necessarily ask them to change. They need the refrigerator as much as you. They need the shower as much as you. Compromise as much as you would ask them to compromise. 

3. Be honest with yourself and your roommate 

With #1 still being true, sometimes compromise isn’t always plausible. In that case, communicate! Always! It is better to be honest in a polite manner rather than just coexisting in misery. If their side of the room is a complete pig stye, but you are the type of person that cannot stand a mess, then a compromise can be found.

4. Take out your trash. Just do it. 

5. Don’t leave dirty dishes lying around

If you wash them as soon as you’re done with them, then you won’t have to worry about it later. Also, if you wait to wash dishes, then the food will be gross and much harder to clean off while stinking up the entire room.

6. Consider creating a chore list

Each of you can be responsible for certain jobs, such as vacuuming, doing laundry, cleaning the refrigerator, watering the plants, etc. 

7. Not everyone has the perfect college dorm experience. 

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Occasionally, two people are simply entirely unable to coexist or much less bond with their roommate. 

8. Have patience

Just because something of yours may have been borrowed, or something gets lost, don’t automatically assume that your roommate is out to get you. Assume that they mean no harm, but still be open to communicating if you are suspicious about strange activities.

9. Have a good attitude! 

You are both in college—hopefully—to grow as scholars and as people. You with both find your way eventually, so understand that you can be as much a part of their growth as you would hope for them to be to your own growth. 

These are just a few things to keep in mind when sharing a living space with someone you may not necessarily be comfortable with (if you even know them at all). Overall, know yourself, be honest, and be kind. If all else fails, remember the Golden Rule and your college experience will keep on going!

Love & Light,

Jordan Cardell