Most college students dream of being roommates with their best friends so they could do everything together. They would conquer late-night homework assignments, make late-night snack runs, and throw miniature get-togethers to celebrate the end of a stressful week. Best friends know everything about each other and have similar habits. So why not share a college dorm with your best friend for the next four years?
Unfortunately, some universities have an online portal that requires you to create a profile that lists your preferences and qualities in order to be matched with a similar but random roommate. Ideally, this technique is enforced to give students from different backgrounds the opportunity to learn and interact with their peers.
Sharing a dorm with a person that comes from a different background can expose you to a new way of thinking. Being open to learning about different cultures can help you understand why people do the things that they do, which prevents any misunderstandings. Learning about different cultures can help you view life from different perspectives and give you the chance to expand your knowledge of diversity. This type of mindset will allow you to get to know your roommate on a personal level.
Here are a few more tips on forming a good relationship with your new roommate(s).
It would be in your greatest interest to move into your new dorm without a strong expectation of who you want your roommate to be or how you want them to act. Your roommate might have a completely different background and culture. Accepting your roommate’s differences can allow you to experience a bond that is connected through diversity.
Communication is Key
Establishing clear communication as early as possible will help you to respect each other’s expectations, avoid conflicts, and be considerate of each other’s time and space.
Your roommate’s belongings are not yours. This means you cannot touch their belongings whenever you want. It is important to ask permission before using, establish what items can be shared, and what’s completely off-limits.
Give Eachother Space
It’s okay to be friends with your roommate, but everyone needs some space to themselves. Spending a lot of time in the same room can cause the room to feel stuffy. It’s important to have other friendship groups that will allow you to stay busy.
Keep Common Areas Clean
It is your responsibility to clean up the mess you make. Your roommates shouldn’t have to wash your dishes or clean up the mess you made in the bathroom. It is common courtesy to clean up after yourself so that everyone can enjoy the space without any form of mess.
The thought of sharing a room with a complete stranger could be scary, but once you settle in and get to know each other more, those nervous thoughts will turn into something you and your new roommate laugh about in the future.