Difference #2 – Roommates
Many high school students have their own room. You don’t have to share space with somebody else, you don’t have to worry about sharing clothes with anyone else, and you don’t have to worry about hiding your stuff so that nobody ruins it or steals it. If you do share a room with somebody it is usually a sibling and not a total stranger or you are coming from boarding school and lucky for you, this new transition won’t be such a shocker.
Of course everyone hears the roommate horror stories – you’re complete opposites, your roommate loves to be naked, they’re a complete mess, they are up every night until 4am, they come home drunk every night, they don’t shower (yes this happens), they steal your stuff…. and the list goes on… so with this concern high school students always like to ask if there are single rooms for freshman. WHY??? Why in the world would you want to come to college, knowing nobody and sit in a room by yourself? Trust me – you don’t want a single your freshman year. The first few weeks can be lonely at college and a roommate is an easy (and forced upon) friend to keep you company and help you adjust to college because guess what, they’re adjusting too. Right away you have somebody to hang out with, eat meals with, go to the gym with, and hang out and watch TV with.
Of course this will all be an adjust, different from sharing a room with your stuffed animal. Here are some things to keep in mind and a few pieces of advice for your new roommate experience:
1. Contact your roommate prior to move-in. Once you get your roommates information reach out to him/her through facebook or send an e-mail. Introduce yourself, you don’t need to share your secrets or becomes BFF’s right away, this isn’t online dating, just an introduction. Talk about what you will be bringing (TV, futon, couch, microwave, etc.)
2. Be nice and talk. This may seem obvious but this is probably a new experience for both of you and it is much easier to keep your mouth shut then it is to start a conversation (a real one, not just texting) and talk to each other about the roommate experience.
3. Don’t bring valuable items. People steal. It happens more times than you think. Don’t bring anything to college that is valuable and if you do, don’t flash is around for the world to see. “Oh cool, you have a designer necklace (you must be rich) that you let hang from your desk lamp, well….when there are 10 people in your room i’ll just snag that cause you’ll have no idea it was me” Hide your shit! Trust me, things will go missing.
4. Things that you think may bother you, actually don’t. Keep an open mind when you move in to your dorm and meet your roommate. You might think a messy roommate would drive you crazy but when you actually move in they may not bother you. You might think, based on their facebook pictures, that you are going to hate them but when you meet them they may open you mind to a new way of thinking or new activities that you never knew about.
5. You’re not livin’ in the penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton, you’re livin’ in a college dorm. Compromise! Too often people think they deserve the best living environment. If their roommate does something they don’t like, automatically it becomes an issue and neeeeeds to be fixed. No! Having to adjust to a weird environment and learning how to live with people’s differences is part of college. It’s not going to be perfect. You will get aggravated, you will blow up and yell at each other, it may get physical, you may even throw something across the room, you will call you parents crying… it happens to everyone, at every college. Get ready!
Oh boy, love the roommate topic. I will definitely be revisiting it in the future… so much to talk about!