Ready for your first roommate?
Ah, college. Where else can you share a bedroom with a total stranger, and be in different beds but sleep so close to them that you can hear their every breath. Oh wait! I can think of two places where you can have that very experience – the hospital and jail. Awesome, eh?
It’s really quite creepy when you think about it, which is why getting ready for your first college roommate requires some advance preparation, mostly involving your emotional and mental state, to prepare you for this level of sudden, very close, near constant confinement. Oops. I meant to say camaraderie, not confinement.
Anyway, close cohabitation can be confounding, so here’s a few tips to keep your sanity after you move in with your first roommate. Good luck. Thankfully, most people I know have survived this experience with their worldview only slightly warped.
The first thing you must realize is that you will have to get along with your roommate. There is just no way around this. Even if you decide on day one that you could never be friends with the person your college has deemed you perfectly compatible with, you will still have to get along. Otherwise things are going to get really ugly very fast. (You could, perhaps, ask for a transfer to a new room or drop out of school, but it seems better just to stick it out.) Channel your inner Mother Theresa and prepare for a long year ahead.
The next preparation you must make is two-fold. Not only must you be considerate and organized with your own stuff in your half of the dorm room, you also have to take care not to mess with or accidentally use or throw away or break any of your roommates’ stuff. If you’re not neat and organized already, now is a good time to try to be.
You’ll also face the challenge of negotiating your roommate relationship with your other college friendships. It’s easy to assume that your roommate should be included in all activities, but since you’re already spending all your waking (and sleeping) time with them, you may need or want a break. Hopefully you’ll actually like your roommate and this won’t be an issue. But if not, feel free to have ‘separate activities’ with other friends that don’t involve your roommate at all.
Hopefully your roommate experience will be a positive one. If not, you can always do what most college freshmen do to deal with a subpar roommate – start drinking. Graduation is only four years away.