Effective Steps to Coping with a New Roommate

RA Roommate coping with a new roommate

One of the challenges students face at school, either as a freshman or senior is coping with a new roommate. This is one area students find awkward and difficult. They have to stay under the same roof with a total stranger. Someone whose background, habits, character and ideas is totally different from theirs. If not properly handled, it could affect them academically, morally and physically. Here are effective steps to coping with a new roommate which will guide you all through your study years:

Understand Yourself

The first step to coping with a new roommate is understanding yourself. You must know your likes and dislikes, strength and weakness, your background and your goals. You must know your temperament and how best to manage it. When you fully understand yourself, coping with a new roommate won’t be difficult. You would be able to stay away from your dislikes and work on your weaknesses. You would ensure that your temperament and weakness doesn’t get in any one’s way. You would be able to set your priorities right and also draw out your plan for the next step.

Study Your Roommate

This may not be as easy as the first step because of a whole lot of reasons:

  • Generally, it is difficult studying the behaviour of people.
  • First impression might be misleading. A very jovial friend might appear hostile the first day you both met due to some personal issues running through his/her mind. That doesn’t make such a person hostile.
  • Prejudice may set in. Your notion about a person, religion or tribe can affect your judgmental sense
  • Just because you both are just getting to know each other, he/she might try to be a bit cautious and reserved.
  • Some would just conceal their true nature for reasons best known to them.
  • Some are just Chameleon. Their behaviour changes anytime and it is difficult to understand them.

Quite an uneasy job studying people. This step is not one task you can complete in a day or within a short period of time. It takes effort and patience. It could take you a whole session or even two before you realize their true-self — Pretenders! You could also read the 15 kinds of friends you will meet on campus. It will help you through.

Be Fair In Your Judgment

In the Process of studying this new roommate, never give your final verdict about them. Some could be messy, dependable, undependable, cocky, helpful, noisy, confused, difficult to live with or perverse. However, this does not paint them to be who they really are. As a matter of fact, some could be pretenders or just overwhelmed with their admission into college. Others could have ulterior motives. Just because someone is humorous doesn’t mean he can’t be taken serious or because they look too serious doesn’t mean they are charismatic. That roommate who says naughty things might not even be as wayward as you take him/her to be.

Communication is Key

Arrange a form of casual meeting in the room or any other convenient area where you both can come together to speak up on your likes and dislikes. You get a chance to speak up on what has been bothering you while the other person gets same chance also. He will tell you your behaviour which he doesn’t like — All you need to do is adjust. It could be said in a teasing manner, but they really mean it.

You can hear honest comments like

  • I’m allergic to nuts
  • I don’t like it when someone sings at night.
  • I don’t like it when someone belches or farts.
  • I hate this genre of music.
  • I’m asthmatic (you must take this very serious).
  • ….…….more and more.

However, some wouldn’t talk or explain their true nature. They are either conservative or pretenders and you must be careful.

Stick to the Rules

There are certain rules you need to adhere to if you must avoid troubles. These rules serve as guide to maintaining a near-perfect relationship with your roommate.

  • Don’t expect to be best of buddies with your roommate from the start. Don’t be too desperate seeking friendship.
  • Keep all your mess to your side of the room. Also, don’t make it overly glaring that you are neater while the other person is messy.
  • You both should have a laid out timetable on chores. This is one area that can lead to quarrel if not properly addressed.
  • Never brag about your wealthy background or expensive materials. If your roommate seem to be the bragging type, just ignore. Never be intimidated.
  • Be flexible. Never be too rigid. In some cases, you just have to bend to some ideas or do things you are not used to.
  • If you feel you can’t cope anymore or your living together is endangering to you, then you should seek a change of room.
  • Clearly label your items that seem identical with your roommate’s. It will save you a whole lot of troubles.
  • If you don’t want to borrow out your items, clearly tell him/her from the beginning.
  • Respect his/her ideas, Faith, boundaries, status, colour, temperament, race, etc.
  • Remember, communication is key.

We know coping with a new roommate isn’t just very quick or easy but you can share with us how you coped with your roommate while in college. Use the comment box to share your experiences too.

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