Monday, September 12, 2011

Many undergraduates, especially freshmen, live in a dorm with a roommate whom you may now know.  Sometimes your new roommate may end up becoming your best friend, while other times you may not want anything to do with each other.  Still other times, your roommate may be just that- someone with whom you share a living space. You may get along with the person, but not associate with him or her besides "good morning" or "hey, would you mind taking the trash out? I'm running late" type of exchange. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this type of roommate relationship nor the best friend type.  Roommate problems can come about in all of these scenarios- whether you like or dislike your roommate.  The key to keeping things pleasant is communication.  We all have those little things that bug us, but a lot of times, strangers, such as your new roommate, may have no idea what pushes your buttons. 

So, what should you do?  Talk about it!  Set aside a specific time to discuss what is on your mind.  Make sure to listen to your roommates response or to any complaints he/she has.  Then, agree to make changes to accommodate one another.  Remember that it may take some time to change, so don't get too annoyed if your roommate slips up a few times!   If you feel uncomfortable talking directly to your roommate, make sure you speak to your RA.  The key thing is to not let it go if it really bothers you.  Sometimes it's okay to be laid back and go with the flow, but what you don't want to get to the point where you become passive aggressive toward your roommate or let the annoyance build up until you end up starting an argument.  Most likely, your roommate will appreciate your assertiveness and be happy to pick his towel up from the floor, lock the door when she leaves, or whatever it may be that has been bothering you.

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