For many students living on campus this semester, this is the first time they have ever lived with people that are not their family for an extended period of time.
While this may be a thrilling thing for some students, other more timid students might feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to share a room with a stranger for a whole year.
How do you be that good roommate? How do you get along with this new person in your life? It all comes down to respect- respecting the other person’s privacy, and thinking about that person instead of just yourself, these are things that can make your relationship with your roommate strong.
At the beginning of the semester, the RA’s of each residence hall ask all of the roommates in a room to answer a few questions that would create a “roommate agreement.” Roommates should comply with what they agreed to.
This means that it is important to respect each other’s privacy, especially in the small living area of a dormitory. Roommates should each go over what items belong to them so that they know what they ask for permission to borrow.
Communication with each other is something that can’t be stressed enough. For example, some roommates do not like to be alone in their room all the time, so they should inform each other that they may be out of the room for a while. One easy way to communicate the message is to write a message on a white board attached to the back of the door.
If a roommate wants to have guests over, it is best to make sure that every roommate approves of it first. Chances are that someone may have a major test the following day and is trying to study quietly or sleep, so a quiet room should be accommodated.
It is also a good idea to make food and drinks available to everyone in the room. If something in the fridge belongs to someone, he or she should make note of it.
Each roommate has a different schedule for the day, so they may have different times for going to bed at night and waking up in the morning. If someone is up while others are trying to sleep, it is common sense to be as quiet as possible.
Since the room is shared, it is important to cooperate in keeping the room in good condition. This means that each roommate should do their part in taking out trash, recycling, doing dishes, and keeping the room clean and undamaged. When the room is low on food, chipping in money or taking turns paying for groceries is a way to be fair.
Showing some generosity towards roommates would be a way to help build a satisfying relationship with them. Some ways to do this include making their beds, leaving some left over food for them, and taking out their trash.
Another way to get along with roommates is to spend time together and get to know each other. They could go to lunch at a dining hall, go to the Tinsley Center, or go out for a ride somewhere.
For some people, their roommate does not end up becoming their best friend, but as long as they respect each other, they can still be friendly towards each other.
On the other hand, if sharing a room is not working at all between roommates, they could request a room change. While this is certainly not an easy decision to make, no student wants to feel uncomfortable living on campus.
Roommates will be some of the first people that incoming college students meet, so it is crucial to build a tolerable relationship with them by following the roommate agreement, respecting each other’s privacy, sharing whatever possible, communicating, being respectful of quiet hours, contributing to the small chores, and spending time together.
The relationship between roommates fills in a big percentage of the overall experience of living on campus. Therefore, whether a resident at Bridgewater State University has chosen a roommate or has a roommate chosen for him or her, knowing how to be an amiable roommate will contribute to making the most out of a college experience.
Michael Rooney is a Comment Contributor.