We’d all like to assume that coming home will give us some quiet time to sit down and get some work done, but what happens when you’re roommate is chilling with a large group of people, blasting Pandora’s top hits radio and munching on snacks all over your desk area? Sure, the library and student centers are an option, but sometimes the convenience of having all of your desk items and books on hand is a big factor, no matter how you study best. While this situation can be awkward, there are many ways to handle it, get your work done and still remain on good terms with your roommate.
1. Tune out
Some people claim listening to music while studying is only more distracting than listening to the people around them, but often they just aren’t listening to the right type of music. “I like to just put headphones on with soothing music to block out the noise,” said University of Maryland freshman Garrett Allen. Soothing music is the way to go. Classical music is a great option— no lyrics or harsh beats to distract you, but the melody will still block out the other sounds around you.
2. Plan ahead
Chances are you won’t have the same class schedule as your roommate, so there will be times when you’re free and your roommate isn’t. This is the perfect time to take advantage of the quiet space in your room. Save the gym and laundry for a time when you’ll both be around, so you can take ultimate advantage of your limited alone time.
“Living happily with someone else will always depend on your ability to compromise and be understanding,” said George Washington University sophomore Christopher Bean. Nobody likes confrontation, especially when it involves confronting someone who you have to live with for the next eight months. Compromise is key to success with anyone, but especially a roommate. Work out an agreement: If one of you needs some alone time to get some work done, perhaps your roommate will be willing to sneak out to the lounge or another friend’s place for a bit.
4. Just focus
Sometimes you’ll walk in to find your roommate binge-watching an entire season of Friends, and let’s be honest, how can you get any work done when all you can hear is Phoebe’s smelly cat song in the background? At some point in your college career, you’re going to have to just deal with a little background noise. Certain types of small assignments such as simple text readings can be completed with ease around noisy friends and loud music. If your room always feels like an LMFAO concert and you can’t find a way to avoid the distractions, you’ll just have to learn to work with them. Do your small assignments that require less focus, and save the larger assignments for later.
5. Praise Neighbors
Neighbors exist for a reason. They are there for when you need to borrow eggs and sugar, and in college, they’re another potential study space. Make a good relationship with your neighbors. They may be welcome to the idea of letting you study with them for a while if your room is too loud. Just bear in mind, you should also return the favor. Sure, it may not be your own desk in your own room, but hey, that’s what roommate compromise is all about.