Tips on moving into your first dorm

December 27, 2012

After living with your parents for 18 or 19 years, sharing an on-campus apartment or room with a relative stranger might seem like a huge adjustment. Here some tips for college students hoping to get along with their roommates. Remember, success leads to a comfortable living situation. In a best case scenario, you'll end the year with a new friend.

Learn to appreciate their uniqueness
The chances that your new roommate will be a deviation from the type of person you're used to hanging out with is pretty good. PsychCentral notes that, odds are, behaviors that might be incredibly annoying to you might just be old habits from your roommate's pre-college days. Don't assume your roommate is out to get you. While you're at it, do your best to connect through anything you have in common and not to be completely put off by characteristics you don't share.

Respect the other person's space and possessions
U.S. News and Report points to communication and compromise as two key factors of getting along with roommates. It can be hard for some people to realize that, while they have to put their foot down when their roommate is being disrespectful, it's important to follow the old axiom of treating your roommate the way you'd like to be treated.

Unless you've made an arrangement, it's terrible practice to eat your roommate's food or drink their beverages. Try to take turns doing chores - it may foster resentment if one roommate is doing all the cleaning while the other is making most of the mess. Perhaps most importantly, if you're sharing a room and your dorm mate has a boyfriend or girlfriend visiting, it might be time to think of a few errands you have to run, a movie you've been dying to see or virtually any other convenient reason to vacate the premises for a few hours.

You can always move
The truth is, roommates don't get along all the time. However, it's not as hard as you might think to find someone to live with who could suit you better. If you've made friends on campus, ask if they'd like to live with you next semester. If you're situation has gotten so dire that you can't wait for that long, ask your college administration what they can do about setting you up with another room.

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