One of the many things to look forward to when coming to college is getting a roommate! Deciding who will share your space for a year is a big deal. As a freshman, you can choose to be placed with a random roomie (we call that potluck) or with a friend/acquaintance. There are pros and cons to both, but whether you're living with a stranger or your bestie it's important to know how to be a good roommate. So let's talk about qualities that will make you the best roomie ever!
1. Communication. We've all heard that this is the key to making any relationship work, but what exactly is good communication? It's a lot of things, but for roommates it looks like this: telling your roommate (and yourself) your expectations of how the room should operate, telling each other your schedules, talking about what upsets you, apologizing when you mess up, and getting everything out in the open instead of passively expecting your roommate to "get it." If you've got a problem, talk about it openly and respectfully.
Luke and his roommate, Cason, with matching shirts and matching hair.
2. Adaptability. Living with someone else means being flexible, and maybe not having everything go your way. But don't worry, this makes life exciting. A great way to make the most of your shared space is to roll with the craziness. And believe me, in a college dorm, crazy moments happen often.
Just a typical night in Cole and Andrew's room. Chocolate milk and pizza.
3. Consideration. To be a great roommate, it's super important to realize that your actions don't just affect you but your roommate as well. Remember to be considerate of their time, space, and sleep. Two of our Choctawkers, Cole and Andrew, are roommates and have learned to use their communication and consideration skills to their advantage. For example, Andrew takes naps in the afternoon and since he communicated this to Cole, Cole is considerate enough to not disturb him (usually).
Cole and Andrew celebrating the value of cleanliness.
4. Consistency. This doesn't necessarily mean having a consistent schedule (although that would be nice) but let's be honest, it's college and consistent schedules are rare. Instead, try your best to be a consistent friend and supporter. Whether you are present in the room or not, let your roommate know that you are for them and there for them. Let the room be a safe place where you can come and be yourselves.
Ashton, her roomie Elizabeth, and left shark.
5. Cleanliness. In other words, general consideration for each other's space. A good rule of thumb is to talk about what kind of messes stress each other out and figure out a way to compromise. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to make your bed every single day, but do learn what cleaning habits bring peace to your roommate's life and do them joyfully!
Can you guess which side of the room is Asa's?
6. Respect. This is so huge. Mutual respect for each other will bring much peace and less eggshells into your roommate-ship. Try your best to show your roommate that you respect them, rather than just telling them. Respect their sleep by quietly coming into the room at night. Respect their time by cleaning up your mess so they don't have to. Respect their space by giving them the freedom to be themselves.
Life in the girls' dorm.
7. No judgement. Your room should be a safe place, not a place of tension or hurt. Encourage each other in your daily tasks, affirm each other in your strengths, gently and selflessly resolve conflict. Show your roommate that you accept them for who they are, and you don't judge them for their quirks.
Me and the ladies of the Lighthouse!
These qualities are wonderful, but they are also perfected with time and practice. Give your roommate (and yourself) plenty of grace as you start this journey together.
Happy Dorm Living!
Elizabeth "best roomie ever" Moore (basically...)
PS: it's actually that time of year to sign-up for housing! If you haven't gotten your housing squared away, take care of that online now!