We’re in this together: Five ways to be a better roommate

By Logan White

You’ve graduated high school and now you’re finally headed off to college and getting ready to move into the dorms — and that means you’ll be living with a roommate soon. Chances are you’ve spent at least part of your life living in your own personal room, and it might be daunting to accept that your living conditions are about to change. Don’t worry— moving in with a roommate can be a great experience. Here are five keys to a successful roomie relationship.

1. Meet and greet: One of the best things you can do is get to know the person you’ll be living with before you move in. Find a fun and friendly way to break the ice before school starts, like meeting for coffee or going to see a movie. The more you know each other, the easier it will be to build your relationship.

2. Plan it out: Having a schedule can make all the difference when it comes to shared living arrangements. Know when your classes are, who’s doing housekeeping tasks, and if you plan to meet for meals. Things will run a lot smoother if everyone knows what’s happening.

3. Know your limits: It’s OK to say no to roomies. If they’re going to a party and you have a study session planned, don’t feel pressured to abandon your plans. You don’t have to hang out with your roommate all the time. Know when to take a break and give each other space.

4. Talk about it: Communication is undoubtedly one of the more important pieces in a smooth-sailing relationship. If there’s a problem that either one of you has noticed, don’t be afraid to address it. Sit down and face the issue head on. It will be easier to find a solution or compromise if both of you are willing to discuss the problem instead of clamming up.

5. The golden rule: This is the rule of thumb for any relationship. Treat others the way you’d want to be treated, and you’ll eliminate a lot of bumpy areas before they appear. If you respect each other’s time and space, you and your roommate can have a successful year.

College can be one of the more defining times of your life, and there’s a good chance you’ll spend most of your college years living with a roommate. With a little bit of effort and mutual respect, you and your roommate can have the time of your lives and develop the friendship of a lifetime.

Logan A. White is a rising home-schooled senior and a Teens & 20s writer.

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