College and Roommates

At some point in your college career, you will most likely be paired up with a roommate, either in your freshmen or later college years. Having someone as a roommate can be really exciting and new for students that grew up in families that did not make siblings share rooms, a very interesting experience. The selection process that Res Life, our housing and resources department, use to match students with others is fairly simplistic but mainly used as a tool to ensure a less possible chance of students conflicting as roommates.

Res Life’s criteria for their housing application is very straight-forward. It asks you three questions: Are you an early bird or night owl? Do you smoke? And lastly, are you tidy or messy? You can probably see why these questions are necessary, they ensure the chance of roommates getting along easily with similar attitudes. However, even with this extraordinarily open questionnaire, conflicts can still arise from the dorm room. However this is why this blog post is so valuable- dealing with a roommate is going to be different to many upcoming students. Your Resident Advisors would prefer the roommates to figure out situations themselves before getting involved if they have reached an impass, which in the real world makes sense because there are very few mediators out there besides the police, so this forces students to work on social skills of dealing with a roommate.

In my opinion, the best way to resolve roommate issues is to openly discuss problems. You and your roommate will never solve an issue if something bothers him/her and he/she does nothing but complain to her friends about the problem. Since there is no direct link from problem to user, the issue (no matter how much she complains to his/her friends) will never be resolved. It is imperative that these situations are discussed. Perhaps your roommate did something as simple as not wipe their shoes on the rug or outside carpet before coming in leaving nice icy water traps behind their footfalls. I have personally seen way too many roommate conflicts get out of hand because they refused to talk to each other to resolve a simple conflict at an earlier notice, than one big argument over everything that has ever happened.

I know the Res Life system isn’t perfect, and everyone is blessed with their own quirks in a way, just remember that being open and talking is better than bottling up emotions that could explode later.

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