I was excited to live in a college dorm room when I first started college, but having a roommate, the stress of classes, and a new environment can make anyone tense and irritable.
Here are some college tips to get along with your roommate, find roommates that are compatible, and dorm ideas to keep your place organized.
1. I’m ready to evict my roommate!
Roommate spats are common, but not all of them will lead to verbal blows. When a disagreement starts, learn to cool down. Both of you sit, relax and calmly talk over what specifically is bothering each of you. Take turns speaking, choose a resolution that suits you both and make compromises. You each need to give a little and make concessions. Take, for example, sharing food in the fridge: Kenrick Ali, associate director of residence life at Cal State East Bay, said in “Seven college roommate conflicts—and solutions,” by Jessica Yadegaran, August 7, 2013, in Mercury News, “It is imperative that you speak to your roommate about how much they can use, what happens when items start running low, what happens when there is no more of the item, and who pays for the replacement.”
2. Apps to find a compatible roommate
What if you’re an early to bed and early to rise kinda student while your roommate is a night owl? An incompatible roommate can actually cause you stress and lack of sleep or study time, which can lead to poor grades. There are apps that can help you find the perfect roommate more in sync with your lifestyle and sensibilities. Similar to online dating, apps like Roomsurf, RoommateClick and RoomSync are matching compatible dorm roommates. See if your college is linked with one of these. One school, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, uses RoomSync. Its research found that students who picked their own freshman year roommate were “significantly more successful in college and had a better overall college experience,” according to “Bad Roommates Ruin Your Grades, Colleges Turn To Websites to Improve Compatibility,” posted in Huff Post College August 7, 2012.
3. How can I keep my dorm room organized?
With two people cramped into a small room, organization is a priority. Go to a department store or home improvement store and look at organizational tools for ideas. Bins, shelves, racks, stacks, cases, containers, hangers, etc. are designed to store lots of stuff in a small amount of space. These include under-the-bed bins, to shoe racks that hang on the back of your closet door, hangers that let you hang 10 shirts on one hanger, shower racks that keep your products neat, hampers for laundry, and electronic caddies for your gadgets.
4. Ew, co-ed bathrooms!
While my dorm is co-ed, the bathrooms aren’t, but some colleges have gender neutral bathrooms. You may feel embarrassed, but so does everyone else. You all will be averting your eyes and minding your own business. Some say sharing a dorm and a bathroom with the opposite sex teaches young adults to live and interact with one another and breaks down gender-related barriers. Writing in “The perks of living in a co-ed dorm,” posted on USA Today College, November 6, 2014, Pomona College student April Xiaoyi Xu wrote, “The co-ed residential experience has offered me much insight into the mundane lives of my peers. Significantly, there is no longer a sense of mystery about people of the opposite gender that has previously limited my interaction with them to a certain degree.”