Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dorming 101: The Roommate Situation

Hey Guys! To anyone who is old (and new): I've started blogging again! I wanted to do something beyond just book blogging so I gave up Daydreaming Bookworm for good. Of course, it's always a good addition to my resume so I won't be taking that blog down just yet. Anyway I'm really trying to make this happen so would greatly appreciate feedback/ suggestions for improvement. Since this isn't technically a book blog: I can't promise book giveaways but I will be giving away sweepstakes like postcards etc. every now and then, so it's in your best interest to subscribe. ;) 

In my opinion, dorm life is one of the biggest challenges (and yet the most exciting aspect) of living on campus. And I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a decent roommate in order to fully enjoy your residential life experience. Most boarding schools and colleges usually have a roommate questionnaire in order to help with that process, but often times, even that goes wrong. Therefore looking back on my previous roommate experiences (the good, the bad and the UGLY), I decided to conjure up a list of pointers that could (possibly?) help a future boarder survive in the long run.

A) Be explicitly honest on your roommate questionnaire.


I'm serious! Don't try to portray yourself as a perfect human being on your questionnaire. None of us are, especially college kids. In fact: try to include as much information as possible. If you like partying and having people over in your room: indicate that! Be honest about your sleep schedule, cleaning habits, eating habits, and even (especially!) your pet peeves. Still not convincing enough? Story time! Your homegirl here wanted to make a good impression and beautifully fabricated her roommate questionnaire. And I paid the price for it all right. During my first year at boarding school I ended up with a roommate who would stay up late on school nights to play games on her computer. And that's all good with me, except the fact that she would yell into her headphones every now and then in her native language. As a result I didn't get a wink of sleep that semester. She was also super clean so every time my side of the room was untidy she would literally stare me down until I actually got to cleaning it.So do yourselves a favor guys: be honest on your roommate questionnaire, don't leave anything out just because you're embarrassed about it or something. 

B) Network!


When you get accepted to a college, they usually invite you to join their official Facebook group for the entering class. That group is an invaluable resource: Utilize it! Reach out to people from that group, try to learn more about them through conversations. Often times, you might even see students posting a small bio on the page in order to seek out roommates. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! My college roommate reached out to me when she saw my bio on the Facebook page, and so far it has worked out pretty well. Networking is also a skill that will help you later down your career path, so it's best to pick it up early! 

C) Honesty while sharing a common space with another person.


Now this is more of a post roommate selection topic, but I thought that I might as well include it in here anyway. Now let's say that despite taking all the necessary precautions, you didn't exactly end up with the roommate you were expecting. That's fine! All bad experiences teach us valuable lessons (okay that sounded super cheesy). But it's true though. My two horrible roommate match-ups from school taught me to prepare for the worst. While respecting the other person's space is a given, it is important to ensure that you are getting the same amount of respect. This is where communication comes in handy. If you're feeling uncomfortable or really annoyed about a pet peeve of your roommate's, talk it out with him/her. Because it is your right to enjoy your space as much as that person is enjoying theirs. If you're South Asian like me, you'll notice that Westerners are much more frank about their feelings than we are. And if they don't like something, they'll definitely tell you that outright. So you might as well do the same. If you still end up having serious problems with adjusting, talk to your Residential Assistant. Residential campuses usually have tons of resources that either directly or indirectly address those problems. The only thing you have to do on your part is to speak out. 

All factors aside, I do hope that you enjoy your residential life experience. Let me know in the comments or in the CONTACT FORM if you have suggestions about the kind of posts you might enjoy seeing here. Or you could just share your personal dorming experience in the comments section below. If you're currently living in a dorm, how did your experience turn out? Is there anything you would add that could help out future boarders? Thanks for reading!

2 comments:

  1. If I complain about my roommate,would the dorm authority shift me to another room ?

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    1. Hi there! It really depends on how drastic the situation is. Usually they'd prefer if you talk the situation out with your RA and roommate. But if it's really not working out they'll usually allow you (or the other person) to change rooms. A lot of this also depends on the college as there are also issues like the residential hall capacity and whatnot.

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