As a freshman coming into college, I was told how important it was to live in the dorms for my first year. People raved about how many friends I was going to make and the memories I would cherish. While all of that has certainly happened ten times over, no one really prepared me for the challenge of living with someone in a shoe box of a room.
My roommate, Shannon, and I had picked each other out on an online roommate finder called RoomSync. The app had said that we were a nearly perfect match and so it would make living with each other easier. So, we came into move-in day with a confidence that was unparalleled. We quickly learned that even if you are a great match there are going to be bumps in the road. One that I realized about 30 minutes into moving in was that you shouldn’t bring your entire collection of belongings with you to college. I quickly took up more space in the room as a result and we had to become creative with how we were going to stash each person’s belongings. Because we were short on space with our many belongings, we quickly learned that being flexible is super important because in such a tiny space shifting furniture and moving things around can lead to a better arrangement than you had before. Being flexible also allows for open communication and reduces unnecessary hurt feelings.
When I asked Shannon if there was any advice she would give to people just moving into the dorm she hit on open communication. If you have an issue with your roommate, no matter how small, talking about it can relieve a lot of stress and create an environment where you feel safe discussing how you’re feeling and what you need in order to be comfortable in the room. Communication is such an important part of making the dorms a successful and fun environment where you can make healthy memories. When living in a small area like the dorms having a good relationship with your roommate is the key to success. As I enter into the second semester, I have learned that communication, understanding, and the value of each other’s space is vitally important to remember when living with someone new.