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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

College Series: Roommates

I went to community college for 2 yrs on a scholarship before going away to a state university. In moving in I didn't know quite what to expect or what to bring so here I'm going to talk about that and things to think about before making decisions from my own experience.There will be different instalments to this as there are different things I would like to talk about in no specific order.
I'm rooming with my friend (we have our own "best friends" but we are really good friends (like 2nd best if you want a title)) which works out because our schedules are different so we don't see each other 24/7. We have good communication skills with each other, we try to be respectfully open and honest. We also have similar morals and values which is important as you are in fact living with this person but we're not clones of each other either. Our personalities are different so we do clash on some things but so far that hasn't been often because we let things go and realize its not that big of a deal.
We have tv schedules because most epic shows are in the evenings or at nights which we both have no class during (or we didn't at the time I started this but now we do with the semesterly schedule change). We pick which shows we want to watch the most; that we can't function without knowing what happened and try to work it out. It pretty much goes I get to watch Dance Moms, Bunheads, The Vampire Diaries, and Switched at Birth if she gets to watch Pretty Little Liars, Teen Mom, The Middle and Big Brother (when it's on). With those shows there are no time conflicts and if for some reason we miss it they are online.
We do little gestures of kindness every now and then for each other to show appreciation. For example, I did her laundry with mine while she was gone over the weekend. I did it because A) She lets me borrow her clothes when I want and so I was already washing what I had borrowed and B) There wasn't much so it wasn't a lot of work that I went out of my way to do. She bought me a smoothie today because she thought I might want one and it was a flavor I said I like. These are just little things that can make their day and make life easier for you having to live with them.
If you are more of a loner I would suggest that you are upfront with your roommate on your personality and your social habits so they know not to take offense.
Roommates are typically who you're going to spend the most time with in the long run and so the biggest thing is respect. Me and my roommate where earphones/ headphones when listening to music as to not disturb the other. We try to go to bed at decent hours (or I wear and eye mask to block out the light if she stays up later than I do). We also mutually established how we feel about guys in the room and came to the agreement of not allowing that. We only really ever have mutual friends over.
These are things that work for us but the biggest thing is communication and finding out what works for you and your roommate(s). Learn to agree to disagree and compromise. Establish some ground rules, know what's completely off limits and what's negotiable. Remember that you are sharing the space you're living in so share in the responsibility for  maintaining it. Roommates don't have to be friends but they should get a long and have some sort of positive relationship.