First Time Living With Someone You’re Not Related To!
For many students entering college, this may be their first time away from home for an extended period of time. While dorm living can be an enriching and wonderful part of the college experience, it can also be a source of great stress and discomfort if the roommates are not a good match. Granted, the fit does not have to be perfect.
Prior to starting summer B, my daughter had searched for a fall roommate through Facebook. She did not want to live an entire year with a friend, preferring to meet new people; all part of the college experience. As my daughter is almost finished with her first year at UNF, the roommate that she randomly picked has turned out to be an excellent choice. Of course, they have had their share of differences and annoyances with each other but that’s to be expected. They have learned to respect each other and my daughter has learned to share with someone who is not an annoying sibling.
Teach Your Student Well
Teach your student before leaving home what it means to be a good roommate. Students can often find roommates through various roommate finder pages (ie: Facebook, roomsurf.com). Of course, matching with a roommate in advance doesn’t mean that all will go perfectly.
Should problems arise, whether they are as simple as someone constantly leaving their makeup out or not taking out the garbage, or more complicated like a roommate constantly having overnight guests, the first step should always be to have a calm discussion and look to compromise. If they haven’t already set ground rules for things like when they are going to clean, how they feel about late hours or studying in the room, encourage them to do so. And definitely, tell them not to borrow clothes or eat their roommate’s food without asking! Our kids spend so much time texting instead of talking; it is important that they learn how to express themselves clearly to their roommates.
When your student lives in the dorm, the RA is a good resource to go to if the issue cannot first be resolved between the roommates.
Here is a guide to living on campus at UNF.