Roommates and Residential Life

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Roommates and Learning to Live With Others

Their first time with roommates? For many students, going off to college means moving away from home and living with someone you do not know that well in a small space. Dorm life can be both exciting and frustrating, and having a roommate that you get along with can make a world of difference. While your student does not have to find the perfect match or their lifelong best friend, having a roommate that you can co-exist with and agree on ground rules, is very important.

My daughter committed to the University of Maryland a little less than two weeks before the deadline of May 1st. Considering she took her time to make a decision, most of the girls that she knew of who were also attending UMD in the fall, already decided to room with other girls. My daughter was panicking to find a roommate she would become best friends with, which made me panic. In the end, she was introduced to another girl that committed on the later side and it worked out just fine. The girls ended up having a great year together, and though they were not the best of friends, they learned to live together in a way where they were kind and respectful to one another.

One piece of advice I gave to my daughter is to be upfront with each other. When she felt that something was bothering her that her roommate was doing, I told her to address it and bring it up nicely in order to come to a solution, rather than fighting or being unfair to one another. The best way to avoid conflict is to set ground rules from the beginning when it comes to things such as will they leave the window open, can they leave the lights on at late hours of the night, and if they will share food. Coming to an agreement about these topics earlier rather than later can prevent huge fights and keep the relationship between roommates in good standing.

When your student lives in the dorm, the RA is a good resource if they can’t resolve their roommate issues on their own. Lastly, the freshman year rooming situation does not have to be forever if you do not want it to be. By the end of your first year in college, students are bound to have found that “perfect match” of a roommate, so do not stress if things do not go as planned in your first year. My daughter knew by the second semester her freshman year who she wanted to room with for her sophomore year, and they are even rooming again for their junior year!

Here is a guide to living on campus at UMD.

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2020-06-26T16:03:17-04:000 Comments

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