For some young adults, college may be the first time they have had to share a room with another person. Here are a few points to think about and discuss with your roommate:
The room is shared space between the two of you. Decorate your room together so that each of you are satisfied with the look and feel of your space. Although one of you may get bored one afternoon while your roommate is in class, consult with your roommate before moving furniture in your room.
Remember that although you share the room, you do not necessarily share the contents. Things like clothes, food, movies, televisions, video games and even computers are things that your roommate may want to share or expect you to share. Talk about this boundary early and establish what you will and will not share.
Whether it is talking on the phone, listening to music, turning on the television, or an alarm clock going off, the noise level in your room is important to consider. Noise level becomes a particular concern when the two roommates are on differing schedules. One roommate may not have any morning classes and be up late watching T.V. while the other may need to be well rested for their eight o’clock morning class. Discuss appropriate times for the noise levels in your room.
Communication is an important part of living with a roommate. When you experience a conflict with your roommate, go straight to the source and address the problem. Beating around the bush does not communicate that you have concern and depending on how subtle you are, your roommate may not even realize you are approaching them about an issue. Regardless of what the conflict is, enter your conversation with a positive attitude. Choose words that will help reduce on your roommate’s defensiveness.
When talking with your roommate, be sure you understand the differences that you have. Lifestyle choices, cultural background and faith all affect the communication between roommates. Do not make any assumptions about your roommate. You know what they say about assumptions – they are often wrong.