Living with a roommate whether, he or she is a complete stranger or a friend from back home, is an opportunity to learn about yourself as well as others.
“Some things just have a way of working out,” said Dominique Jackson, a sophomore biology student from Bradenton, Fla.
“My former roommate is one of my best friends.”
Learning to live with another person is an additional lesson to learn upon attending college.
“Based on requests, common interests and other information given, we try to place students accordingly,” said Jerry Moore, housing director at FAMU.
In that respect, the housing staff assigns roommate matches with good intentions.
“With a decent environment, respect and communication, there is ample room for friendships to form,” Moore said.
Experts say, in order to get the most out of your current living situation and future outcomes, go into the situation prepared.
Take this opportunity to learn about yourself. In Women Today, Claire Colvin said the following tips are helpful in making a smooth transition.
Before moving in together, learn to share your space with another person. Try to start thinking about someone else before you act.
For example, walking into your room at 2 a.m. and turning on the light to get dressed for bed is not a way to win over your sleeping roommate who has an 8 a.m. chemistry lab.
A valuable exercise is changing your behavior to benefit someone else, according to Colvin.
Next, learn to ask for help and how to give it. There will be times when you cannot do everything yourself. Ask for help when you really need it.
Experts say this will allow for your roommate to get to know you. On the flip side, be the one to go out of your way for your roommate when he or she turns to you for help. Make time for people.
Finally, be flexible. Determine the things that matter most and leave the rest alone. Listen and communicate with your roommate.
According to Colvin, it is all about the effect you have on the people who share your living space. You cannot change a roommate into your best friend.
However, if you change yourself, you might learn something interesting in the process.
Following Colvin’s suggestions can help you turn roommates into friends. As Colvin said in Women Today, “Through communication and mutual respect and sometimes, common interests, roommate situations can evolve into some of the best experiences of a lifetime.”
Angelena Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.