For some, one of the biggest adjustments they will need to make when attending college or university is living with people who aren't from their immediate family. Whether you're from a large family or an only child, college living is a different experience altogether. While it may take some time, developing good relationships with your roommates will also allow you to develop communication and other life skills that will benefit you in more ways than one in the future.
Whether you’re living with friends or complete strangers, here are a few tips to help you develop great relationships with your roommate(s).
Schedule Chores Early On
You and your roommate will have to take care of your living space just as you would your room back at home, so it's always a good idea to have a discussion about chores. Walk around your living space making a list of chores that need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Then you can work together to assign the chores. You can switch off duties every month to keep things interesting, but make sure both you and your roommate are clear about what needs to be done and when.
Keep Communication Open
Set an open communication policy with your roommate so that you can go to each other when issues arise. For example, if your roommate has been slacking on their chores and it’s becoming a problem, sit down with them and let them know what is bothering you and why. At first, you and your roommate may not feel comfortable being completely open, but this will get easier as you start learning more about one another.
Try to stop problems at the start! If you notice a pattern of laziness forming in your roommate or they are repeating behaviour that annoys you, let them know how you feel and try to come up with solutions together. Don’t bottle up your feelings only to explode later on. Find a way to work through the issues together and you will both feel better.
Discuss Lifestyle Habits
When you live with another person, much of what you do will affect the other person. Be sure to take their lifestyle habits into consideration along with your own.
You may be the type of person that likes to go to bed early and wake up early, but your roommate might be someone who enjoys staying up late and sleeping until the afternoon. Regardless of whether you're an early riser or a night hawk, try to be quiet when your roommate is sleeping and ask that they return the favour.
Whether you prefer to study throughout the day or set specific time aside, your study habits might be interrupted by a loud roommate. One of the best ways to ensure there's quiet when you need it is to set designated study times with your roommate. This way, you know there will be certain times of the day or night when you can expect the quiet you need to focus on school.
There's no two ways about it, sharing a bathroom can be difficult, so it’s important to find ways to share that space. Separating your roommate’s bathroom products and your own into separate tubs is a great way to make sure no one takes over the bathroom. You will also need to discuss when your roommate likes to shower. Some people prefer morning and some night, making it easy on both of you. If you both prefer morning, you can schedule times to use the shower and switch off every other day to make it fair.
Your roommate(s) may not become your best friends and that’s okay, but it's important to be friendly and to treat them how you’d like to be treated. This will keep your living situation less stressful overall. It’s easier to live with someone who likes you and friendliness will help ensure that you're amicable.
Take steps to ensure your student living experience is as positive as it can be, and that you and your roommate(s) feel at home. Be mindful of your own behaviour and don't be afraid to speak up when your roommate(s) behaviour is making you uncomfortable or disrupting your school work. Show respect and you're likely to receive it.
Are you looking for quality student housing near Brock University or Niagara College? Look no further than Regent Student Living!