Ways to Keep the Peace with Your Roommates
One of the most common experiences those attending college can expect is learning how to adjust to living with roommates. College freshmen living in the dorms often don’t get a say as to who they’ll be paired in a room with and even those living in apartments or homes off campus still have to deal with sharing their living space with one or more people. In instances where personalities may tend to butt heads, some of the tips provided below can help keep the peace and help all roommates reach a better understanding of one another.
Lay Ground Rules Down Early On
Whether you know your roommate(s) or not prior to living with them, it is essential to lay down a set of ground rules or “house rules” after the move in process is done. Pick a day and time frame when everyone is free and have a sit down to discuss what guidelines everyone is to follow. Each one should be agreed upon by all the roommates. Make sure each person has a chance to speak his/her mind and provide feedback as needed. To make it official, use a dry erase board, poster board or bulletin board to display the ground rules in a place where everyone can view it. Don’t forget to include possible consequences that come with breaking or ignoring the rules.
It is important for college roommates to have an idea of what everyone’s class schedule and work schedule is. You don’t have to share the exact details of where you’ll be at everyday but making some kind of list as to who will be home on what days and during what times will help when it comes to planning get togethers, study sessions or any other social event. For example, if you know that your roommate typically uses Thursday and Friday evenings from 7pm-9pm to study and do homework, you’ll know ahead of time to not schedule to have friends over or throw a party on those days and times. Knowing each others’ schedules is ideal for making sure each person has his/her time for activities they enjoy, either by themselves, with roommates or other people without interrupting anyone else’s routine.
Resolve Misunderstandings Right Away
Communication is one of the most vital elements to maintaining a peaceful household with roommates. People aren’t mind readers so if one of the roomies does something that rubs you the wrong way, pull him/her aside and address it directly. Don’t let it fester for days or weeks and hope they understand why you’re not happy with them. The sooner problems are addressed and misunderstandings are clarified, the quicker everyone can move on from the issue and resume their daily routine. Remember, there is a way to approach such things. Be mature instead of dramatic and don’t just talk the entire time–listen to the other party and take their feelings into consideration. Then work together to find a solution or compromise.
Do Stuff Together
Even if your roommates are from completely different worlds, it doesn’t hurt to try and have a “roommate hang out night” or something similar. Making friends with your roommates is a great way to have a smoother living situation, instead of just being a group of individuals all sharing the same space. No one says you have to be best buds and while there may be some differences, knowing your roommates as friends definitely has its benefits.
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