January 17, 2020
Sharing your space with a roommate can have its ups and downs. Chances are you will have a roommate at some point during college, and you may even have the opportunity to live with your sisters in the Kappa Delta house.
Having a roommate can be one of the most meaningful and fun bonding experiences of college or, unfortunately, one of the worst. While it may seem that everyone has a roommate horror story in their arsenal, that doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, some roommate pairings are simply a better match than others, but with a little effort and a roomie-philosophy inspired by your KD values, any roommate situation can be a win-win.
Living with others can be an adjustment, and we are all guilty of making mistakes from time to time. Did you accidentally spill nail polish on your roommate’s bedspread? Did you forget to lock the door before leaving for class? Or perhaps you woke her up by blasting music when you thought she was in class? It’s important to have open communication with your roommate. Be honest about any violations of trust, respect or privacy you may have inadvertently committed. Own up to your blunders and be honest about the situation, and your roommate will likely pay you the same courtesy as well. Even if she doesn’t, you can do the right thing.
Splitting chores and maintaining boundaries often causes disagreements among roommates. Maybe no one has swept in three weeks, or the dishes are piled up to the faucet, or there are piles of unidentified laundry on every surface. Instead of getting frustrated, talk it out with kindness and respect. Kindly asking everyone to put in more effort to keep the space neat will get you a lot further than a feisty message sent to the roommate group text.
You should aim to be respectful of your roommate’s sleep and study habits, but remember it’s your space, too! If your roommate wants to have a group of friends over the night before you have a big test, communicate your concerns to her. If you feel like the furniture could be rearranged in a way that inspires more “feng-shui,” voice your opinion. If you don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to pitch in $100 for a house vacuum, say so. You can have opinions. Be confident and stand up for yourself.
Part of the fun of having roommates is participating in activities that bring you closer. You can be the self-proclaimed event planner and orchestrate movie nights in, dinners out and other fun activities. Taking the time to get to know each other beyond roommates and as friends will not only make your living situation more enjoyable, you’ll likely become friends for life. After college, you can reminisce on all the fun things you did together as roommates.
You spend more time with your roommate than anyone else. You probably know each other’s schedules and routines by heart. If you notice a red flag or your intuition tells you something may be wrong, it’s your duty as a good roommate to step in. Maybe your roommate has adopted some unhealthy habits, whether it be substance abuse, an eating disorder, a toxic relationship, not devoting time to academics or isolating herself due to opens in a new windowmental health issues. No matter what, the best thing you can do is speak up. Talk to your roommate and tell her you are there to support her. That’s being a true friend.