If you’re attending Weber State University, there’s a good chance you’ll be living with roommates either on or off campus.
Before I lived with roommates I actually imagined it would be a bit like summer camp, just longer of course. Well let me spoil the ending for you: it is not like summer camp.
With summer camp if you don’t get along with your roommate, your stay will only be a week, which means there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But when you’re in college the light is much dimmer when you’re staring at it from eight months away.
Now not all roommate experiences will be bad, in fact I met some of my very best friends during my first year at WSU. But if everything isn’t all sunshine and daisies, and trust me it won’t be, it’s easy to learn some simple solutions before move-in day.
First, and I believe most important, is to be honest.
For example if your roommate continually leaves the kitchen dirty, and I say continually because we all get busy sometimes, then let them know. You don’t have to be rude or condescending, just let them know that you want them to clean up when they are done.
This might seem difficult but it is easier than letting your irritation fester into hate while your kitchen gets dirtier by the day.
Second, be open-minded. Students come to WSU from a whole host of places including stateside and out of the country, so it is necessary to be open-minded and respectful of your roommate, their beliefs and lifestyle.
Third, make your boundaries clear. If you are uncomfortable with them coming into your room without knocking then let them know.
You may find your roommate is eating your food, be clear with them that you do not want to share your groceries and would prefer that you all be responsible for providing your own food.
Be firm but not condescending, do not make them feel stupid for coming into your room suddenly or grabbing a handful of chips but do let them know where you draw the line.
Fourth, admit your faults. You yourself are going to have shortcomings as a roommate. Maybe you always forget to turn the lights off or play your music just a bit too loud, we all need a jam session once in awhile, but whatever it may be remember we all make mistakes.
While you are using these tips on your roommate, keep in mind that they might be using them on you too. If your roommate approaches you about a problem then try your best to not be offended and do your best to remedy the situation.
It might seem silly to need roommate mediation or to change your living situation but in the end you want your space to be friendly and inviting.
No roommate relationship is going to be perfect or a match made in heaven, well except for .000001 percent of the time. Just like any other relationship this one will take time and effort.
You do not have to be best friends, hell you don’t even have to like each other, but if you are going to be living with someone for almost a year then you will have to find a way to make it work.