From the Senior: Dealing With Your Roommate

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Top dog, head honcho, the big cheese, senior.  All of these guys and girls know exactly what they’re talking about after three years of experience.  How should you deal with your roommate?  They’re here to help!

“With your roommate, make a clear list of rules at the beginning of the year that you both agree to follow.  This will ensure that you both are on the same page about what you want your room to be like.  However, even though this will start you off on the track towards a healthy relationship with your roommate, make sure you stay open with them throughout the whole year.  If something's bothering you, bring it up with them so you don't get frustrated about it,” says J.P. Muncks.

–J.P. ‘The Rocket Scientist’ Muncks, Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia

“Make sure you have your own space.  It's tough in a small dorm room but it's nice to know that in such a small space you still have a little corner of your own,” says Laura Levitt.  And in addition to space, you need to consider the things in it.  “Discuss with your roommate (right away) how she feels about sharing things.  This will help you avoid conflict down the road, so there is no confusion about who can use what.”

— Laura ‘The World-Changer’ Levitt, Broadcast Journalism, Elon University

“Talk everything out ahead of time.”  Sometimes problems are inevitable, but sometimes they’re avoidable.  For issues that could occur in the future, try to create a preventative plan instead of dealing with a disaster cleanup.  “Make sure you both have an open line of communication, so if any issue arises the two of you can talk it out,” says Marmer.

— Andy ‘The Economist’ Andy Marmer, Economics, Vassar College

“It’s a lot of fun to live with people, especially your friends!”  However, like Marmer, Laura Morrison thinks that it is important to have open lines of communication.  “It would be easy to think that friends are automatically on the same wavelength,” she says.

— Laura ‘The Ivy-Leaguer’ Morrison, Human Biology, Health and Society, Cornell University

“I had a roommate my freshmen year who got pretty heavily into weed and decided not to shower.”  Obviously, this is not an ideal living situation.  Shapiro suggests using “a lot of ‘I statements’ rather than ‘you statements.’  It phrases things in a way that describe you and make them not feel like they're being confronted or attacked.”

–Zack ‘The Entrepreneur’ Shapiro, Journalism with a focus in Media Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder

Sophomore > Marketing and Finance > University of Maryland

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