Sophomore Advice: Sharing space takes preparation

The “college experience” is all about meeting new people, trying new things and growing as a person. Having a roommate is all a part of that experience.

From the moment you received that letter in the mail informing you of your roommate’s identity, or from the moment you decided to room with a friend you already know, you may have been filled with expectations, questions and possible excitement or anxiety.

If you have never had to share a room with someone, a roommate can be a really different and new experience. Sharing a space with another person is not the easiest situation to get used to, yet it is best to keep an open mind about things from the start. Prejudging the situation and your roommate you haven’t even met yet puts limitations and problems in the way of your living space.

Instead of assuming you and your roommate will not get along, try spending time getting to know him or her better. By getting further acquainted with your roommate, you may find that you have more in common than you initially thought. Though giving each other a fair chance is important, becoming best friends doesn’t have to happen and it might not. It’s just as important to get to know them as it is to make boundaries and give each other space. Being roommates doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment together. Not everyone can get along with the roommate they get. In this case, you may have to be patient and work on living with that person in a civil manner. Communication is key. If it gets out of hand, you can always talk to your resident adviser about the problems you may be having.

Some people choose to live with friends or people they know instead of being placed with someone randomly. Rooming with a friend reduces the possible initial awkwardness and the question of whether you will get along. Yet despite all that, being friends with someone and living with them are two completely different things. Living situations could potentially turn into sticky situations if one’s space isn’t respected. Even though you may be friends, it is still important to have your own activities and your own space.

Meeting your roommate for the first time and other moments you spend with them can be some of the best memories you have at Rider. By simply staying positive about your living situation and keeping the door to communication always open, you may end up making friendships that last for a lifetime.

-Kristy Grinere

Sophomore journalism major

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