A roommate can be a blessing or a curse. Find a good one, and you’ve probably made a friend for life. Get stuck with a bad one, and it could ruin your time at college and even affect your GPA. But, it’s not just about the other person. Want a good roommate? You need to be a good roommate too. Use these tips to help you identify the right person to live with and aid you in giving what you hope to get.
How to Be a Good Roommate
Communicate: Set some ground rules up front and make sure you clearly get your points across. If neatness is important to you, let your roommate know that. If you really need some quiet time when you come in from class, put that out there too. And on the flipside, make sure you listen to your roommate’s requests as well.
Show Respect: The key to successfully sharing a living space is respecting the other person: respect their stuff, respect their wishes and respect their time.
Be Flexible: It is crucial to start a roommate relationship with clear expectations, but sometimes, it’s just as vital to learn how to compromise. If you give a few inches on something you want, your roommate will probably return the favor.
Be Honest: Talk about what is important to you and what may be bothering you BEFORE it becomes a huge deal. Once you’ve let something simmer for a few days, you’re more likely to over-react and make the situation worse. Be open and honest with your roommate and be clear that you expect the same.
Be Nice: No matter how tired, or stressed or busy you are, there’s never a good reason not to be kind. A few nice words, a genuine smile or simply choosing not to complain about something really unimportant can go a long way in ensuring roommate harmony.
Why Roommate Success Matters:
According to ECampusNews, conflict with roommates has consistently ranked among the top five reasons students drop out of college.
Where to Find Potential Roommates
Check websites like Roomsurf.com or use the roommate selection services your college offers. Facebook is also a great place to look. Many colleges create a “Class of 20XX” page and invite incoming freshmen to join.
Tip: Their answers don’t have to match yours exactly, but you need to be in the same ballpark.
Ask these questions in your first “interview” with a prospective roommate
·What are your study habits?
(Do you need complete quiet or do you blare your favorite tunes?)
·Are you planning on joining a sorority or a fraternity?
·Are you a morning person or a night owl?
·How do you feel about borrowing clothes, cars, etc.?
·What are your hobbies?
·What are your interests?
·What do you want to get out of college?
Top 3 things that parents are concerned about with their child’s future roommate:
·Not serious about studying
·Will have friends hanging out all the time
· Sleeps too much