Column: How to Live and Survive With Your Roommate at Radford University

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By Nay-Quan Bryan | nbryan3@radford.edu

College is a big transition, and part of that transition is learning how to live with a person that you’re not related to. Having roommates can be one of the best or worst things depending on how the two, three, or four of you receive each other.

Com·mu·ni·ca·tion is Key

You’re sharing your personal space with a person you don’t know, and anything could happen.

Living with someone is kind of like a relationship but without the emotional drama. The key to having a great year with your roommates is communication.

Now say it with me everybody, com·mu·ni·ca·tion.

If you talk it out with your roommate, set rules and guidelines for your dorm or apartment, and make sure they are clear, your roommate and you will be just fine.

Clarify what you both want because you’re going have to manage your whole year around each other. Learn how to manage your schedule around his or hers, because you have someone else to consider with the things that you do, For example, you have to take into consideration how quite you should be if you’re coming in late and your roommate is asleep.

You have to consider their sleeping habits, their study habits, their TV habits, if they have them, and of course, how to share the bathroom.

I promise that communication is the key, especially if you are arguing and going through a disagreement. If you can’t reconcile your differences in a particular situation, get your resident assistant to help peer mediate the issue so that you can come to a compromise.

How to Work It Out

I know with my roommate, if we have any issues, we talk it out and go from there. I work some nights until two in the morning, and I consider that when I enter our room, he could be asleep. If he is asleep, I try to be quiet, and I use my smartphone’s flashlight to see instead of turning on the room light.

Also, if I want to use something of his, I ask him. If I know my friends are coming over, I let him know, and in return, he does the same. We like to keep each other informed.

Now if you and your roommate cannot get along at all, and it’s just argument after argument, then you should look into contacting your resident assistant or resident director and see about rooming with someone else.

Situations like these can be extremely stressful, along with classes and life in general. Take the weight off your shoulders and tell the resident assistant or resident director about it. It’s better to change rooms than to stay where the air is toxic, and you keep having issues where things could escalate.

Photo Credit: (Daria Shevtsova | Unsplash)