SURVIVOR SERIES: DEALING WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF ROOMMATES?
Whether it is your first year of college or your last, rooming with a new person can always bring lots of worries since living with a person is very different from just knowing them. There are different types of people (roommates) and trying to connect or approach them with issues can sometimes be a struggle. Don’t worry, here’s a tip for dealing with these varying personalities
- The best friend. Living with someone that has the same interests as you and pretty much likes all of the same things as you is pretty much the type of roommate everyone dreams of. However, just keep in mind that it is only the first week of classes. I am not saying this will change, but there are tendencies for people who are exactly the same to get sick of one another. If you find yourself with this type of roommate, make sure you don’t rush things. Get to know her/him more and find your similarities, but also your differences. Avoid having expectations, which will come unconsciously, since you both seem to be alike.
- The one that is never there. If you happen to end up with a “ghost” roommate, be grateful instead of worried. Although it is common to want to connect with the person you live with, not having someone in your room all the time could be convenient when you need to have a silent place to study or do some school work. If you feel lonely while being in your room, invite friends over so that they can keep you company or attend one of the hundreds of on-campus events.
- The one that is always there. This is pretty much the type of roommate that people are the most afraid of. However, you must understand that regardless of how annoying it is that he/she is always in the room, it is his/her room as well and they are not breaking any rules (unless they start taking over your space). If you encounter this type of roommate, it will be helpful to have a talk with your roommate. Find out what is going on and why she/he is always in the room. Also, it is recommended for you to find a “study place” (e.g library) to be able to finish all your school work if you can’t concentrate with people around you.
- The inconsiderate roommate. If you find yourself dealing with this type of roommate, make sure you let them know how you feel. It might seem obvious to you, but she/he might not see it. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, approach an RA or hall director. They can be a great, unbiased aid in these types of issues. Try using statements that are assertive, but not aggressive. Also, keep an eye on your own behavior. It might be that you are acting inconsiderately, leading your roommate to behave the same way. Remember that every coin has two sides.
- The taker. If you have not agreed to share something or have outlined sharing conditions for certain items, you’ll need to address any disruptions. If your stuff keeps being used by your roommate or your food is disappearing, then it means you are dealing with a “taker.” Of course, the way to go is by having a talk. However, if things do not seem to get better, make sure you reach out to your Resident Assistant/Resident Mentor. They will set up a meeting with you both and refresh the roommate agreement and ensure that what it is written is followed, or make changes as necessary.
- The passive aggressive. This type of roommate is the one that holds onto everything and as soon as they can’t take it anymore, she/he finds the most minimum mistake to blow a gasket. Even though there is little you can do to change this type of roommate, it is important to keep a good communication between each other throughout the year to ensure both of you have time to express one another’s bothersome behaviors. Remember everyone has flaws and various ways to deal with conflicts, having a frequent check in will prevent a heated explosion later on.
Written by Stacy Palacios, Peer-Educator.
Photo Cred: Roommate Fit