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Shared space: tips for living with a new roommate

For most incoming college students, it can be a bit of a challenge learning how to live with a roommate. After being used to having a room to yourself at home, getting put in a room with a stranger may seem odd.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to break down those walls and learn to live with your new roomie!

Strike up a conversation

This may seem obvious, but you should probably talk with your roommate at some point. You’re going to be seeing each other every day, so get to know each other.

Ask about where they’re from, what they like to do outside of school, and what they’re studying. This will help build trust, and you might find out that you have something in common!

Your roommate is one of the first contacts you make at school, so be sure to take advantage of this time to meet someone new and learn about them to make sure you are living without too many issues.

Take some initiative

Photo from Evangel archives
Living with a roommate is easy, just be respectful!

When it comes to living with someone new, don’t hang back and wait for them to clean or strike up the conversation.

Be the first one to offer! Ask to set up a cleaning schedule so it’s not stuck on one of you every time. See if they have a preferred time to go to sleep, or if they have a dedicated study time.

By taking the initiative in having these discussions, you’re showing that you are willing to compromise and work with your roommate to make sure you aren’t worrying about staying up too late and causing problems down the road.

Be respectful and responsible

Ultimately, every tip and trick to living with a new roommate comes down to being respectful and responsible.

If your roommate needs to go to sleep early for that dreaded 8 a.m., don’t play loud music at 10 p.m.

Be sure to learn your roommate’s schedule and being willing to work your schedule around to make sure you both are happy. You both have to live in the same space, so be respectful of each other’s boundaries. Clean up your messes, keep the noise down when it’s time to focus, and don’t bring over guests without at least letting your roomie know!

If you continually respect your roommate, initiate discussions and work on breaking through the initial awkwardness, you’ll be well on your way to having a fun year in your shared dorm!