How to be a Good Roommate

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

                                 Photo: Ambro

Students can encounter all types of stress during their four years at college. Stress can come from all aspects of life, including your living situation. Having problems with your living situation can have a seriously negative effect on your mental health, and in turn your overall health. Although some things are out of your control, a way that you can try to avoid this kind of stress is to be a good roommate. Chances are, if you know how to be a good roommate, the person/people that you are living with you treat you in the same respect, making your home happy and safe. Here are some tips to having a healthy relationship with your roommate/roommates:

Respect. Be respectful towards your roommate. Does he or she have a certain time they go to bed? Do they have any particular concerns about guests? If so, be respectful of these boundaries. Always ask before inviting people into your room that your roommate may or may not know. If your roommate goes to bed at 8:00 and that is when you start to do your homework, be respectful and use a desk lamp rather than the overhead light and use headphones when listening to your music.

Compromise. Chances are you won’t have everything in common with your roommate. If you do study late in the evening, maybe you should think about using the study lounge in your dorm or apartment complex, or take your work to the library. Be willing to make a compromise to avoid your roommate feeling taken advantage of.

Talk it out. If there is something that is bothering you, say it in a non confrontational manner. Don’t be passive aggressive; you and the person you are living with will feel more comfortable if everything is laid out on the table, before conflict happens. Also be sure to remember to listen to their concerns and try to see the situation from their point of view.

Be kind. Finally, use the golden rule. If you want the people you live with to be kind to you, it is your responsibility as an adult to be kind to them. Think about how you would like to be treated and treat those around you that same way. If you don’t want your things used without asking, don’t use your roommates’ things without asking.

These tips will help you have a happy and healthy relationship with the people you live with. College can be a very stressful time and it is essential that you have a safe and positive environment to go back to every day. If these guidelines don’t work for you, reach out to resources on campus, talk to a counselor and your RAs and CAs. Don’t waste time living in a toxic environment. Maintain positive mental health and make the best of your living situation during your time here at UNH!

For more tips on how to have a healthy relationship with your roommate, check out what the University of Wisconsin has to say about roommate etiquette! 

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