When it comes to living in a college apartment for the first time, most students are a bit scared. If you’ve never shared a room with someone before, it can get especially daunting. Luckily, there is little to fear. For many students, this new roommate also turns into a new best friend.
Keep in mind that sharing a room in a college apartment is different than sharing a room with a sibling growing up. Many people never had to share a room with a sibling, but those who have know that it’s a much more open thing, without the etiquette concerns attached to sharing a room as a young adult student.
As a college student sharing a room, you are expected to act as mature and respectful of your roommate as an older adult would. That’s not to say you can’t have fun, but know that the other person is scared, too, about sharing a room in a college apartment.
Be assuring and polite on the first day, reaching out and perhaps even planning what you can say as conversation to make sure the first day doesn’t get off to a bad or awkward start.
Keep in mind that college often consists of students with various beliefs and values, some of which you may have not been exposed to. Ensure you don’t make any jokes or comments that may offend your new roomate.
Communication is the ultimate key to getting along as roommates in a college apartment, as long as you can both handle constructive criticism. Try to establish at the start that you are welcome to feedback on how to be a better roommate. There’s a balance here, as you don’t want to get bullied or bossed around to the point where you don’t feel comfortable in your own college apartment.
Explain what you want from a roommate, clearly stating what you expect. Ask what is expected of you. Compromise if you both are thinking on opposite ends of the student life spectrum.
Respect the Differences in One Another
There’s a chance that your college apartment roommate may want very different things. For example, what you may want is a roommate who wants to party and go out with, yet he may be looking for someone who gives him peace and quiet to read each night. If you let one another know what your expectations are, you can then respect the needs of the other person.
If a roommate wants quiet time, make plans to go out then or use it as a time to study quietly yourself. If a roommate wants to party, set boundaries on what you are comfortable allowing in the apartment; make sure to state you are not okay with crossing a line that you set.
Enjoy the Company
Your college apartment roommate is going to be someone you remember forever, whether as a bad memory, a neutral experience or a best friend that is still in your life 20 years down the line. The latter is preferable, of course, and even the most opposite person from yourself can be a friend within a college apartment.
There are many things that college is about that they don’t tell you in textbooks. One of the things that makes college great is the opportunity to expand beyond limited high school social circles. If your college apartment roommate is vastly different than all your other friends, be thankful. It’s a chance to grow and get to know someone special and different. As long as you are curious, kind and respectful, there’s no reason why you can’t be friends with someone, no matter how similar or different you both may be.