Most dorm room veterans know that there are some things a pre-move-in phone call cannot possibly cover. Such as the fact that your new roommate likes to sing during their midnight showers, or that they never intended on bringing their own soap.
Deciding to live with a complete stranger can be one of the most difficult elements of college life, but there are some students at Eastern who have been roommates for most of their college career. They have decided not to let the little things fester into larger problems and are willing to share with new generations the secrets to a good year.
Caroline Butcher and Kristin Gianoukas are two friends who have been living with one another since their sophomore year. When asked about how they made their three-year run as roomies work, Caroline gave a few words of wisdom for the dorm newbie:
1. Communication: “Talk to each other about what’s bothering you before smaller problems grow into larger ones.”
2. Stand up for yourself: “It’s tricky, but you have to find the balance between selflessness and selfishness. Be considerate, but put a voice to your wants as well.”
3. Be honest: “Respectfully say what is on your mind—say how you feel.”
4. Take time to yourself: “You don’t have to be around one another all hours of the day, but take time out to get to know each other.”
5. Don’t expect immediate results: “Like any other relationship, living with someone takes work. Make the effort.”
Caroline went on to say that your dorm room is your space to relax and unwind from the stresses of college life. It is unfair not to put in the effort to make that space comfortable for all parties involved.
If all possible avenues have been taken to live peacefully and you and your roommate are still having problems, contact your resident assistant or resident director for assistance. Just remember that the key to a successful relationship lies first and foremost with you.