no image

Tips for Getting Along with your New Roommate

by Janet Price, Regional Director of Community Education and Transition

Roommates at CLEAre you worried about living with a roommate? You are not alone. Every college student approaches the beginning of the school year with some anxiety about his or her new roommate.

Perhaps it is the first time you’ve had to share a living space with someone else. Maybe you’re worried about whether your roommate will be friendly. How will you handle disagreements?

Dr. Scott Hykin, Director of Psychological Services at CLE Rockville, offers the following advice for living with a roommate:

  • Don’t create unreasonable expectations for your roommate.
  • It is not necessary to be the best of friends or a perfect match.
  • What makes a good roommate is being able to successfully navigate the inevitable conflicts that will arise.

Good communication is important. A roommate might never realize that what she’s doing is bugging you, unless you tell her. This was the case for one student at CLE Rockville. She prefers to remain anonymous, as she and her roommate mostly get along. But in the beginning they had a few problems. One of the roommates liked to keep her area neat and clean. The other roommate would leave things lying around. After becoming more and more annoyed with each other, the roommates sought help from CLE staff. Together, they came up with some basic rules for the apartment, such as: Trash gets taken out when the container is full; one week, one roommate cleans the kitchen and living room, while the other cleans the bathroom; the following week, they switch chores.

It is important to speak up if something is bothering you.

It is equally important to do this in a respectful and productive way. Dr. Hykin has some helpful suggestions:

1. Stop. Take a deep breath.

2. Use empathy skills – think about your roommate’s perspective. They might be worried, uncomfortable or scared.

3. Put into your own words what your roommate said/thinks. Ask if that is right. Ask them to explain if it isn’t. Repeat back to them when you do understand.

4. Ask yourself, is there a compromise? Can you give in this time with the understanding that they will give in next time?

5. Speak respectfully, without yelling, name calling, or accusing. Use “I feel” statements – I feel that this is an unfair situation.

6. Call the RA if you cannot find a solution and it cannot wait.

Zach at CLE RockvilleZachary, a second-year CLE Rockville student, and his roommate have gotten along well from the beginning.

Zach describes, “There have been times when we’ve disagreed and gotten mad. At first it can get pretty heated, but within the span of a few minutes or so we think about why we’re getting mad. Once we were arguing, and then talked it out. I remember we were sitting down and we looked at each other and said, ‘Why were we fighting again?’ We burst out laughing. That’s what a friendship should be.”

Newsletter Articles – August 2015

Connect with support office

With the passage of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, the transition from secondary to post-secondary education has improved for many students. However, some students still experience difficulties.

Maureen Higgins M.S., C.R.C is the Disability Services Advisor at Broward College in Davie, Florida. Maureen points to three key gaps that exist as the students move on to college. Specifically, she highlights self-advocacy, time management, and the importance of self-identifying with the disability services office before registering for classes.

Transitioning to college

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the next level of the game when it comes to your education: college. This next stage will be an exciting one, but it will also bring its share of challenges. As a high school graduate, you’re undoubtedly a clever scholar who knows your way around the education system. But one of the challenges of success in college is recognizing how it differs from high school. The following chart will help you recognize some of the differences between high school and college and how to navigate those differences.

Moving to a new apartment

Moving into a new apartment for the first time is an exciting adventure! Being organized and knowing what to bring to your apartment can make the transition a smooth one amidst the often not so fun stressors of hauling large boxes and furniture on a hot or rainy moving day. The following is a suggested list of items for a basic start. A key factor to a successful move and start to independent living is: “Simpler is better.”

Robert and David - 2010 CLE

In 2010 I graduated from high school and moved to Austin, Texas where I started College Living Experience. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, it was scary and challenging, but only because I made it that way. At the time, I thought I knew everything about life and I didn’t need to learn anything, boy was I wrong. As a result, I did not listen to others’ advice and I wasted a lot of time instead of making good use of the program and the CLE staff.

Meal plan - breakfast

Meal planning is key to healthy, balanced eating and spending your grocery budget wisely. Having a meal plan and proper ingredients in your apartment will help you be prepared to nourish your body so that you can be at your best every day. Everyone’s meal plan will be unique and should be a true representation of your week. Meal planning can be done as frequently as a student desires or just once and used as a guide through a whole semester.

The post Tips for Getting Along with your New Roommate appeared first on College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future.

This has been a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.