Leaving your home for college, living with friends, and having fun while learning is something you might be dreaming of since your high school years. It definitely feels like the first step of independence.
Reality check! Sharing a dorm room with someone is not exactly as they show in movies and sitcoms. Life in a college dormitory and sharing it with a stranger can be a bit strainful, especially for those who had their own rooms back home. And not having a healthy relationship with your college roommates might end up disturbing your whole living situation. You wouldn’t want that. Right?
So, in order to avoid any chaos and awkwardness, you need to foster a healthy and fun relationship with your roommates. Here are some tips that can help you nurture your relationship with your college roomies. Who knows, maybe you’ll hit it off and end up having friends for life.
- Set some ground rules beforehand
See, you can’t expect your college roommates to live the way you like. That’s a bit of an unfair expectation. But there are times when roommates fight over stuff like cleanliness and loud music. Now that might sound a bit silly at first but could spark a feeling of resentment between you and your roommates.
That’s why you need to set up some ground rules for all the roommates to learn what you both want in your dorm life. For instance, if your roommates go to bed early, then you can keep the music down. Or if you want your room to be clean, then you need to come up with a cleaning schedule that suits you both.
Let each other know what bothers you before it becomes a problem, and be gentle with the reminders. Living with someone is a two-way street. If your roommates want things to be done in a specific way, let them be. Refrain from slamming doors or stomping around the room to show your anger, as it is just going to make things worse.
- Respect their privacy
No one likes their personal space to be disturbed, especially if you just met. Everyone deserves to have their alone time without someone hovering over them. You need to understand that and respect that. Ask your roommates about privacy and establish boundaries before someone gets irritated.
For instance, suppose you want your roommates to ask before using your stuff. In that case, you need to tell them about it before it leads to a fight. Or if you don’t like to share your snacks or food, then you need to speak to your roomie about that too. The more open, upfront, and transparent you are about your preferences, the better your relationship will be. It is that simple.
Refrain from looking at each other’s phones, diaries or messages because that’s just rude. Try not to ask any personal or awkward or personal questions until your roommates are comfortable.
- Come bearing gifts
Who doesn’t love to be pampered and feel special? As you start bonding with your roommates, try to learn what they like and dislike. Try to show that you care and would like to be friends with them. But you should know that getting a gift for your roommates is nothing like you get for your family or friends, especially if you don’t know anything about them.
So, instead of choosing something super sentimental, it would be best to choose from a safer option. You consider looking for some gift baskets for college students that include snacks and stationery supplies. Whether you are remotely friends with your roommates or have a close relationship, nothing can go wrong with a basket full of snacks and stuff that might come in handy during exam nights.
Bringing gifts for your roommates doesn’t have to be all fancy and expensive. All you have to do is observe your roomie and make out what might interest them. For instance, suppose one of your roommates is a fan of Nicholas Spark’s novels. In that case, you can get one for them and lend a friendly hand.
- Discuss the guest issue
When you are in college, you might want to hang out with your buddies in your dorm room, play games, and organize regular sleepovers. But you need to make sure that your roommates are on board with you and have no issues having guests over.
See, not everyone loves their room flooded with people. So, you need to discuss the guest policy in your dorm room. Try to not bring friends who intimidate or make your roomies uncomfortable. Ask your roommates if they are comfortable entertaining your guests or want to be a part of the party.
This means that before you invite your friends over, make sure you have permission from all your roommates so that they don’t have to deal with any surprises. Be upfront and respectful about your dorm room’s guest policy to keep things running smoothly in your living space.
- Invite your roommates with you
It is said that best friendships are built over a cup of coffee. And you need just that to be friends with your roommates. For instance, you can have a game night every Saturday in your dorm room with just your roommate.
Or you can Netflix and Chill every fortnight. Let your roommates pick a movie to build their interest. You can also go on brunch every Sunday with your roommates and bond over breakfast. Also, if it is okay with your family, you can always invite your roommates to family gatherings or holiday parties.
This way, you’ll learn more about each other’s likes and dislikes. You’ll also get to know about their lives, families, hobbies and so much more. The more you talk, the better your relationship will be with your roommates. You might even become friends for life.
You should know that not all roommates can be best friends. And that’s okay. If any of your roommates aren’t fond of you, it would be best not to force the relationship. This will just make things worse. So, use the roommate bonding tips mentioned above and try to build a healthy and fun relationship with your roomies.