As you guys know I’m a freshman in college. I’m also an only child, so having my own room for 18 years did not help the process of adapting to a roommate any easier. Being a member of the Crimson Summer Academy (CSA) at Harvard helped me a little bit with the roommate situation. Basically, CSA is a program that you begin the summer before your sophomore year in high school. You take classes during the summer and live on the Harvard campus. (It’s a great program to be a part of and if you are a freshman in high school, you should definitely consider talking to your guidance counselor about it.) Even though we had roommates throughout the summer it really wasn’t the same as college because we had a chance to interact with all of our classmates during orientation, so they weren’t complete strangers. It was also different because we shared a suite with roommates, but usually most people within the suites had singles. For example, I actually only had to share my sleeping room during the third summer. I had singles during the first two summers, which I honestly loved. Sharing my room the third summer wasn’t so bad because it was with one of my close friends. We had similar personalities, cultures, and were comfortable around each other.
As you might imagine, living with someone from a different culture who has different customs, a different personality, etc. can be very challenging. Let’s say that you tend to be a neat person and your roommate tends to be messy. It may annoy you because even though your side is neat, the rooms are so small that it looks messy, even if one side is tidy. What’s important is to talk about the stuff that bothers you. Time will tell if you can come to an agreement about things so you can get along as roommates.
Here are some tips that may help you get along with your roommate(s):
- Speak up for yourself. People don’t automatically know what bothers you. So, if something about your roommate bugs you, let him or her know and try to work it out.
- Learn how to compromise. You can’t always have it your way. After all the room doesn’t belong just to you. You both have equal rights.
- Talk to your RA or someone in the housing department if things get worse. They are trained in mediation and can usually can help resolve most roommate issues.