Why communication is key

It’s getting to that time of year again where students are starting to get used to their roommates and familiar with their habits. 

Having roommates can be an amazing experience for students. It gives you a chance to make new friends or meet someone with a different background than yours.

Having friends that live with you in college can make the experience better than what it would be otherwise.

It’s when people don’t get along with their roommates that can lead to some setbacks. People may not get along with roommates for several reasons. Someone may not clean as much as you want them to, or they may get up earlier than you and end up waking you.

Rooming with someone can be an amazing experience, but it can also be extremely trying if you’re living with someone who is completely different than you.

The first thing is to make sure you keep your own things clean. It doesn’t have to be spotless, but still clean enough to make it look like you put some effort into keeping the room clean.

The second thing is to clean up after yourself. Nobody wants to do dishes, but they still have to be done, otherwise, the dishes will pile up and create a bigger mess than when it was maybe just a pan and a fork. 

A way to solve this problem would be to have a plan for chores. It could be something like one person doing the dishes one night and the other sweeping the floor, then rotate.

The third is to be respectful of what the other is doing. Don’t wake up and immediately turn on all the lights, waking up your roommate in the process. Try to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb them if they are sleeping.

Finally, talk about your problems. If there is something on your mind that is bothering you and it involves your roommates, ask them about it. Talk to them, and if you don’t feel safe talking to them about it, then get an RA involved. RAs are a wonderful resource that mostly goes unused in campus life.

Let’s say you come home and the dishes aren’t done, and your roommate was supposed to do them because it was their turn. If you already made a chore plan, it would be incredibly easy to get upset over this and want to then fight about it. However, there are other ways.

First, check in with your roommate. You never know what they may be going through. They could be stressed or working on homework and just haven’t had time to do the dishes yet. Don’t jump to conclusions right away.

Sit down and talk with your roommate about what’s going on. It’s okay to get an RA involved, but something like this may be easier just to talk to them one on one about it. 

It’s okay to vent your frustrations to each other as long as it’s done so in the form of a discussion rather than an argument.

Arguing with your roommates can lead to unwanted tension in the apartment, along with a lot of frustration and anger that can blow up into something that an RA will have to forcibly intervene on.

Please don’t be a shitty roommate if you don’t have to be.