When you are living away from your family and people you already know, you surely need someone to talk to. It’s much easier to live with a roommate with whom you share a good bond and someone who can lend you a shoulder to cry on. But the most challenging thing is to be able to find a suitable roommate.
Having roommates has both pros and cons.
Pros- They are the ones you can talk to after coming back from boring classes. They can be your actual partners in crime. You don’t have to do things alone and sulk in silence when you have your roommates around you, you both can share each other’s wardrobe or share daily life titbits. A roommate can bring in a fresh perspective which you can trust in order to keep your emotions in check. Your social circle automatically doubles. You can vent and rant about someone with completely no personal interest in the matter who by all intentions and purposes is an objective third party observer.
Cons- For some people living with a roommate can mean much less privacy, and for some individuals, this can lead to a lot of stress. Some challenges that may arise while having a roommate and sharing the same space are that it can obstruct sleeping patterns.
While sharing communal household goods, household bills, grocery costs, housework, cleaning, and cooking responsibilities when these duties go untended, friction may result between co-tenants and conflicts may arise sometimes. For this reason, one should delegate responsibilities with roommates. A clear and defined list of alternating chores must be easy to enforce.
Roommates matter, but areas of impact can differ vastly in both positive and negative ways. A person should know the possible behaviour and social and psychological changes that may happen when living with a roommate.
Living with roommates can be a fun and rewarding experience that everyone should try at least once. After all, it could be the beginning of wonderful friendships and those splendid memories you will cherish later. But just like all good things in life, it usually takes compromises and patience to make it work.
Here are a few practical tips which will help you adjust and turn the stranger roommate into the roomie you can call BFF
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1. Ask questions
Whenever we meet an unfamiliar person, what do we do? We introduce ourselves.
The same is to be done here.
While introducing and interacting with your roommate, try to ask all the questions you have been wondering about.
Questions like: What time do they get up? What time do they sleep? And what they do on weekends. Ask if they are an introvert, extrovert, or an ambivert. Asking and clearing out differences and queries will give you an obvious idea of the person and will also be the first step towards a positive bond.
2. Clear out details
You should never hesitate in asking or saying something important. Let your roommates know about your choices, habits, things you like/dislike, and things that make you happy or sad. This can lead to a comfortable and understanding bond. Let them know who you are, which activities or things you are not comfortable with, what activities you are engaged with, and especially what is your routine.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? It’s easy to get frustrated if someone disturbs you while sleeping, but if you never explained that you’re a night owl and worked the whole night, you can’t blame them. You should make things clear. That doesn’t mean that your roommates will agree to your every request, but you won’t make it comfortable unless you make things right by making it clear.
3. Explore Places
Being aware of and knowing each other’s indoor habits is important. But knowing how the person behaves, likes, and acts outdoors is also necessary. This will let you know how the person is.
Asking, clearing things out, or staying in together always won’t truly help you bond with your roommate until you leave the dorm and share a novel experience. You can go to your college together, watch movies, visit local stores, or voyage out to the nearest mall. This will increase your bonding and will help you both in knowing each other better.
4. Split up the chores
Splitting work can make things easier and coordinated between roommates. Whether you split up cleaning so everyone does something each week, or everyone takes some initiatives for a week, it’s better to make a plan than to just assume everyone will do something. Because then, the assumption cycle goes on, and work remains pending.
Many people walk right by a mess unless they know it’s their turn to clean up. So plan your cleaning and avoid conflict and with splitting chores, you can also split up grocery shopping, laundry, etc.
5. Be familiar with each other’s schedules.
You must know at what time your roommate leaves, and at what time they return home, also try getting familiar with their sleeping schedule, friend circle, and go-to-places. This will make you aware of your roommate’s schedules and surroundings.
6. Spend time and celebrate.
Staying together in a single house or hostel, roommates are more like a family. The more you spend time together, the more you know each other. From having dinner together, spending weekends together, going for a movie, late-night hangouts, or ringing bells and cutting cakes on each other’s birthday. These are the crazy things that will make you feel more like a family. Remember, your craziest memories are with your closest people.
7. Communicate honestly and openly
When you live with other people, things might not always be the way you want them to be. You need to be honest and open with each other. If it annoys you when any of your co-tenant leaves their dishes in the sink or laundry on the chair–then speak up! It is always better to address them rather than talking behind their back. It may irritate them at some point, but letting your opinions be known avoids any potential conflicts and puts you on the fast track to best-roommates status.
8. Ask before bringing guests over
It is quite possible that you have limited space in your shared flat or room and having someone come over can cause space crunch. So, its always advisable to talk to your roommate before having someone come over especially if its overnight. It’s always best to respect each other’s space and communicate well before having guests.
9. Embrace the experience
Living with someone new might be a bit scary at first, but there are countless stories of roommates from totally different backgrounds and parts of the world becoming best friends after having shared a room.
The world is all virtual now. You must be missing your hostel days and the fun you had with your roommates. With around half a year passed by because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the only ways to stay in touch with your roommate are through social media and calls.
10. Share memes and get on a call
“Long-distance friendship hurts the most” The people you used to go to college with, celebrate birthdays, hang out, and with the people you used to stay every day are now miles apart.
Memes have kept people connected more than anything else. Because of work from home, it must be difficult to take out time for a call every day, but it is equally possible to be in touch through social media and memes. Sharing each other’s memes about anything that reminds you of your time together is being all so nostalgic. It also helps in knowing each other’s taste of humour and gets you updated about your roommates’ activities and what they are up to.
11. Make other Friends
Remember, that college life has a lot to offer and you can always make new friends outside of your room and hostel. So, if you don’t get along with your roommate even after following these tips, worry not! You never know where and when you will find people whom you can call Best Friends!
College is a life-altering experience. It is a place where you leave anything and everything you have ever known, to lead a life where nothing is familiar, and where you concentrate on studying and working.
Here you have to maintain stability between academics, colleagues, and your social life. Your roommate can have the biggest influence on your first year of college. They can turn into your best friend or your worst enemy. You anticipate the day when you get to meet the person you will live with for the entire year. While bonding with roommates, people end up having trouble, fights, and a lot more, but sometimes it can be more like a family.
It is truly said that hostel fun, college life, and staying with someone unknown as a roommate is something worth calling a roller coaster ride.