College life isn’t easy. Aside from having to meet new people, you’re constantly facing the struggle of being away from your family. You have no one to run to, and when you get sick, you have to take care of yourself. You live independently and have to make important decisions without the influence of your parents and close friends from home. While independence is something to be celebrated, we cannot fully say that it’s a breeze.
When you decided to move far away from home for school, it’s likely that you’ll be living in a dormitory at school, a shared apartment, or at some sort of housing like Vintage at Tabernacle. This means that you’ll be living with a total stranger for the whole duration of your stay. It’s crazy, we know that. But, you can make it manageable by making a few adjustments from what you were used to back home. Here are some ideas to help you when sharing living quarters with other students.
Get to Know Each Other
A lot of adjustments have to be made when you’re living with other people. Of course, you need to build a relationship to keep the air light. This way, you’ll learn more about the person, including his dislikes, quirks, as well as preferences. Once you get to know each other, you can easily co-exist without stepping on each other’s shoes. It pays to be friendly and kind. Also, your roommate will most likely be your first friend in university. You’ll have someone to talk to and share your days with. Having someone with you in the journey will somehow ease your home sickness. Before you know it, you’ll be completely at home where you are, and you can plan your next trip to Vegas with your new bestie!
Get in Sync
Now that you gained a friend, it’s time to take your friendship to another level. This means getting to know him deeper. Be comfortable with sharing parts of yourself to your new friend. Now, you need to know his schedule! If you have a class until late at night, but your roommate only has a class until early in the afternoon, you can agree that the other can cook for you both so that you can easily have meals. You can have your turn to cook, too, depending on your schedule. Needless to say, cooking is one life hack you’ll need when living away from home.
Respect Each Other’s Space
Respecting one’s space does not literally mean only physical space, but space in all aspects: personal, emotional, and spiritual. There should be boundaries in your friendship. Being close to your roommate doesn’t mean you get to rule his life and dictate what you want him to do. You have to respect his choices in life, while not having to compromise your choices in life, as well. Respect goes both ways.
In respecting personal space, make sure to mind only the things that belong to you. If you need to borrow something, ask for permission. If he won’t allow it, don’t push. Next, know that you both are going through different things and adjusting differently to your surroundings. Thus, it’s likely that he will have different reactions to things. Know how to adjust to build an easy relationship. Lastly, the religious community is quite diverse, and you might not share the same beliefs. Be open-minded and willing to learn each other’s differences.
Sometimes, when there is a problem, the reason for that doesn’t always mean that the other person is the problem. Sometimes, it’s you. Evaluate your actions, and reflect on them. It may be best to ask yourself questions like: Was my choice of words offensive? Did I phrase my sentence properly? Was I being fair with what I did?
There are many more questions you can ask yourself, but learn to be sensitive. Also, keep in mind that what might be fine for you may not be so for others because you were both brought up differently and are used to different arrangements.
Alternate Your Cleaning Schedule
Your place needs to be tidy at all times. Having a clean home will give you a boost of positive energy that will allow you to interact with people peaceably. When you’re living with other people, arrange a schedule where you will make a clean sweep of the place for it to always be clean. You can choose to do this together, but you can also opt to do it separately in case your schedules do not coincide.
If you both decide to take a side hustle, you can also hire outside help to clean your home for you. This might sound like an added expense, but it’ll be easier for you, knowing that you will always be coming home to a clean house.
Be There for Each Other
Your roommate can be your home away from home. In simple words, he can be treated as your brother or your sister. When you’re living with someone, expect that, like you, he’ll have good and bad days. Always be there to be a shoulder to cry on when times get tough. When you’re close to your roommate, he’ll do the same thing for you as well. Once you get to know him better, you can easily read the signs in their body language like how a small huff would mean they’re mulling over some bad news. When times get tough, be ready to take your roommate out for coffee or stay in to watch Netflix just to keep him entertained.
Well, these are just a few things you can consider. In the end, you’ll have to figure out how to be good roommates. It’s not easy to be far from your family and the home you grew up in, but your independence will help you grow into your ideal person. College will go by quickly, so enjoy every bit of it, and make the most out of every experience.