Ah, Freedom. Wonderful thing isn’t it? Just as you finally leave school and are looking forward to a life on campus, sharing with a roommate can be a real buzz kill. However, in many situations in which roommates don’t get along it isn’t because they aren’t compatible, but just simply don’t prepare ahead of time or don’t put the other person’s feelings into account as after all, they are living with you. Don’t fret just yet though; we have a few tips to make life easier for you.
1. Find “The One”
Before moving in with a roommate in college, you want to ensure that you and that person are compatible, live similar lives and have similar personalities. Moving in with someone who has different opinions, beliefs, and /or habits than yours can be a pure recipe for disaster. In today’s day and age, there are many websites and even Facebook groups to help find like-minded people who are also looking for roommates because believe it or not, almost everyone else is in the same boat as you. Also, Augusta University has established Living Learning communities to help students stay academically focused while both on and off campus. It is up to the school to suit the student’s basic needs, and Living Learning communities do more than just that, as they help to ensure that our students surpass any expectations.
2. Don’t be afraid to try new things
The college experience is meant to be an unforgettable one involving making new friends, finding new hobbies, and developing new tastes as you mature. Go out on the town with your roommate and find things that you enjoy doing together. This will help to build a friendship, making everything else involved with living together that much easier. Joining a fraternity or a sorority can have a huge impact on you and your roommates college experience, and can make living together a much more enjoyable experience, as you both will be friends with the same people, and be a part of something bigger than just your living situation. At Augusta University specifically, greek life helps to fulfill a large role in connecting the student body, and we offer a variety of different choices for students looking to take that path.
3. Know their routine
Pay attention to your roommate’s routine. Be prepared and know when your roommate needs to use the limited resources given to you. Again, this can help big time in avoiding a majority of those small conflicts that can build up over time. Take notice of when they take a shower, when they wake up/go to sleep, etc. For instance, if you know that your roommate always takes a shower in the morning before school or work, make sure to be out of their way in the mean time, given there’s only one bathroom. Small adjustments like this are key in preventing conflicts and can ultimately be the determining factor in a compatible or non-compatible roommate situation. However inevitably some form of conflict will arise, but when the situation occurs, how it is handled makes all the difference. Get educated on some conflict resolution tactics like compromise to ease disputes. If you need assistance, feel free to reach out to your Resident Assistants as they are trained and well-versed in handling difficult conversations and situations.
Being #4 on the list, it certainly is not #4 in importance. Having good communication skills and being able to work out small issues is of upmost importance. These small issues or daily routine clashes can snowball and build into much larger issues, whether it be due to grudges, resentment, or some other reason. Communication is key to success when building relationships. Using sticky notes, text, or even social media does not translate tone and can cause unintentional miscommunication. If you have any concerns and/or issues with your roommate(s), don’t fret just yet, as Augusta University and many other universities like it offer great counseling services which are geared towards assisting students in their times of need.
5. Establish ground rules
It is imperative that you and your roommate, as grown adults, establish ground rules within the first few days of your stay, and make sure that you both are in agreement and understanding of those rules. Letting each other know what you like and don’t like can be a relationship saver later on down the road, as prior preparation can and will almost always minimize issues down the road. At Augusta University, Resident Assistants reach out to all residents during the first 2 weeks of classes to complete Roommate Agreements covering from ideal temperature in a room to guest visitation. Roommate Agreements can be updated throughout the semester/academic year as residents may want to change rules as they spend more time living together.