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February 22, 2012 / NextStepU

The art of living with others

The most challenging thing for me to accept when going to college was the idea that I had to share a room with someone else. How am I supposed to sleep in the same room as this strange person who may or may not be a psycho killer and is sleeping in a bed three feet away from me?

Perhaps I built up the situation too much in my head. My freshman roommate ended up not, in fact, being a psycho killer at all. Even though I was seriously worried about having to live with other people, living on campus actually ended being one of the best decisions I have ever made. I highly recommend the experience, but with a few tips to make your living situation most enjoyable:

Exhibit A: The Messy Roommate. Don't be that person.

1. Get to know your roommate(s). Yes, you are both feeling really awkward and no, it won’t go away if you avoid eye contact and/or speaking to each other. College is an opportunity for a whole lot of new experiences so take a chance and start the conversation already.

2. Keep your side of the room clean. I’m telling you from experience, it’s no fun having to kick and slice your way to your bed because your roommate’s clothes pile has started to resemble a mountain. Be courteous of your new roomie and do your laundry, please!

3. Talk about your schedules. Make sure you know when each person is comfortable with when you turn out the light or when you need to get your homework done. That way, each of you will know in advance when it’s OK to sing out loud to the new episode of “Glee” and when you’ve got to turn everything off and get work done.

4. Finally, pick your battles. Whenever more than one person has to share a living space there are going to be conflicts. Some things are worth bringing up, like if something your roommate does conflicts with your values or negatively impacts you in any way. However, even if it may go against your nature to have everything your way, if it’s not hurting you there are some issues that you just have to let go.

So readers, get excited to live on campus! You won’t get an experience like this again.

Until next time,

Laura the Intern
Message me on the Community Boards! (I’m InternLaura)


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