Don’t Rely on the Comfort of Dorm Rooms

The move to college doesn’t just represent a change in atmosphere, it also introduces a new group of people to live and get along with. Sure, everyone has had to deal with family members hogging the bathroom or waking you up with their annoying habits, but now you have new roommates: people your own age placed into a tiny room with you where you all have to learn to get along. These are your peers, and since you’ve just moved to college, you probably feel the need to make as many friends as possible.

Roommates are often a college student’s first introduction to college life, which is why many people cling to their first roommates. While being friends with roommates is a great thing and can ease the transition, it is necessary not to limit yourself to the people you live with. Though you will spending a lot of time together, having friends outside of your room will help you to stay your own person. Living as a college student, especially in New York, offers a huge amount of space (literally and figuratively) for you to grow and find yourself. Limiting yourself to the confines of your room takes away from all the greatness that is offered around you.

Go out! See a show! Don’t just stay in the room watching Lifetime movies because your roommates are lazy. Get rush tickets and hit up the TKTS Booth in Times Square for cheap seats!

If it turns out that your roommate is not that friendly, don’t get discouraged! As my mother likes to say, “It’s their loss.” You’re living together, and as long as you get along within the room, that’s often good enough.

If there are issues between you, then it is necessary to take care of these things before they escalate.

Don't let things get too out of hand. It may not be an ideal room, but at least keep it pleasant!

Many people find it helpful to create roommate agreements. These can include anything from schedules for cleaning the bathroom to rules for overnight guests (an important one if either of you find yourself with a clingy significant other always lying around). While the drafting and discussion of agreements for living together sound ridiculous, it is a very good idea for the establishment of good roommate relations. The agreement puts everything on the table and opens up an avenue for discourse if any problems arise.


one of the most common horror stories of college life

US News has great advice for roommate situations, and the most important is to communicate. Living together means you have to be able to talk to one another and understand each other. Even if you aren’t friends, you should still be able to talk and feel comfortable in your new home. If you don’t, make sure to confront your roommate personally and air any grievances. Do not go around them and move out without them knowing. It is best in roommate situations to eliminate any sort of animosity that could arise.

Just be yourself and find your own niche in your dorm room. College life is meant to be an exploration of culture and life — not four years of cinder block walls with people who limit you.


Jen Orlando, Manhattan College. Check out my blog! Follow me on twitter!

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