Sharing Time: How Living with Roommates Will Change Your Life
If you’ve lived with roommates before, whether in a dorm or in a student apartment, then you already know the ups and downs.
Roommates can become your best friends or your worst enemies, each at a moment’s notice. It’s important to accept that living with them will change your life forever, and whether it’s a good change or a bad one is entirely up to you. Here are some tips for coping with the differences that will come from living with roommates.
Be prepared for them to change (and for yourself to change, too)
If you’ve lived with roommates over a period of time, you already know that their moods, likes, dislikes and overall attitude changes as they grow older and experience life on their own. If you’re new to having roommates (and especially if you’re rooming with friends from high school or college classes) it’s important to accept that the person you decided to room with might not be the same after five months of sharing an apartment with you. The same goes for you as well. You have the ability and the opportunity to change your outlook on life forever as you learn to live on your own, share space with others and make it through college.
Be a peacemaker
Even if peacemaker has not always been your traditional role in life, it’s important to learn to fit into that role at times in your adult life. Learning to make peace with others will not only keep you from losing roommates and friends, but it will also keep you at ease. Try reading “Leadership and Self Deception” and “The Anatomy of Peace” by the Arbinger Institute and help yourself cope with seemingly hopeless situations and day to day frustration.
Learn to share
When your roommate takes your favorite CD and pair of sneakers without asking, you won’t want to be a peacemaker at all. But reality is—it happens. And it will probably happen again. The best thing you can do for yourself and your blood pressure is to learn to share. The more you say, “Don’t touch my stuff and don’t even ask to borrow my stuff because you can’t,” the more often you will probably find it missing. If you offer to let your roommates borrow things, they’ll be more likely to respect your and ask your permission—no guarantees, of course.
Have more alone time
Crazy as it sounds, alone time is one of the best things you can do to make your life easier when it comes to your roommates. At first (if you’re new to roommates) you’ll believe that they’re supposed to always be there. But the truth is, every person and every relationship needs alone time. It’s where you reconnect with yourself, calm your nerves and feel human again.
Living with roommates is one of the veritable rites of passage when you go to college. And it can be one of the best experiences of your life, as long as you are willing to compromise and accept that nobody’s perfect all the time. If all else fails and you need a new roommate, check out this roommate search.