Having a roommate, especially if it’s your first, can be an intimidating experience. Social media can help to initially connect, but ultimately meeting and getting to know them in-person gives them the strongest impression of you. This is, after all, someone you’ll be sharing your personal space with for eight months; you want to have a healthy relationship with them and be your best self around them! Based on my own experiences and memories, these are the four essential keys that have made me a great roommate and have a great relationship with mine! Hopefully, they’ll help you become the best possible roommate at CNU.
1. Honesty – Honesty is, understandably, the best policy for any situation, but especially with your roommate. Mutual trust is important to have, so make sure that’s established as soon as possible. If some of their behaviors (or yours) are or might cause you to clash, let them know beforehand so any possible problems are ruled out before they start.
2. Communication – Let your roommate know about any boundaries or rules you have or want so you can meet halfway to avoid conflict! Communication is so important, and with so many ways to communicate nowadays (on and off social media) it’s mind-boggling why it’s even a problem for some people at all. If some habit of theirs is bothering you, let them know so you two can work out the problem.
3. Equality – Equality is an essential value for everyone to have, and roommates need to mutually respect each other’s space and time. Be respectful of their personal space, schedule and activities, and they will likely do the same! Share responsibilities like buying room supplies (paper towels, cleaning wipes, air freshener, etc) or cleaning your dorm sink or refrigerator.
4. Support – Finally, be supportive! Encouraging your roommate in their goals and opportunities, be they emotional or career-related, is what a good person would do! Encourage each other to reach your goals, and be there if they need someone to talk to. My roommate and I always encourage each other in our respective activities (boxing and internships, respectively) and it helps us have a more positive relationship. It’s so important to have someone who supports you and feels like they can be open with you about almost anything, so don’t count your roommate out of that.