Getting along with Roommates

To a lot of students, living away from home and having a roommate are new experiences: you live in a shared space with individuals who have very different background from yours. The experience can be fun and rewarding, yet inevitably challenging in the beginning.

Regardless your roommate is someone you’ve known or a complete stranger, try to follow the tips below to keep things pleasant and supportive throughout the year!

1. Make roommate agreement

Let your roommates know your preference and expectations as soon as you move in: are you an early or late person? Are you a fan or hater of snooze button? Do you tidy up your room every now and then? The earlier you let your roommate know these things, the sooner you and your roommate can figure out a mutually beneficial way of living.

Remember, your roommate will need some time to pick up on your preference, so do you.

2. Respect your roommate’s personal belonging

It sounds so simple that people tends to forget.

Your towels are in the washer and you want to take a shower now. On your roommate’s bed, there’s a washed towel, clean and comfy. Should you use it?

Do not ruin the trust from your roommate from this little act. Always ask for permission before you borrow, use or take anything from your roommate.

3. Be considerate when bringing a visitor

You don’t want to embarrass your roommate by bringing a visitor over when your roommate is in sleepwear. Therefore, be sure to notify your roommate before inviting a guest.

4. Be empathetic

The thumb rule is to be empathetic and understand that your roommate is a person with emotions, feelings, passions; as well as weaknesses and carelessness.

When disagreement arise, think from your roommate’s perspective and try to understand why he/she gets upsets. Tell your roommate where your frustration come from, and that you understand his/her frustration. One would be more open to discussion when the other side acknowledges his/her feelings. They will be more open up for reconciliation.

The art of living under the same roof is sophisticated. Even there’s no guarantee of making friends for life in the Residential Colleges, it will surely be a memorable experience that you want to share with your family and friends. You will learn how to understand others, compromise on things and be cooperate. These skills will be useful in your life.