Getting along with your roommate

12 years ago Comments Off on Getting along with your roommate

She walked into the room. Piles of clothes were strewn around the floor making a colorful collage on the carpet. Her roommate was sitting at her desk, seemingly unaware of the mess she had left.

“Are all these clothes yours?” the girl asked.

“I guess,” her roommate replied.

She tried not to get angry, but this was the fourth time this week the room was left in such havoc. She decided that it was time to do something about it. But what should she do?

Living with a roommate may sometimes seem more like a problem than a solution. However, a person may not have a choice. They may have to live with someone because it is more cost effective or because they are required to. Many Sam Houston State University students have roommates and have had to learn to coexist.

Drew Miller, a counselor at the Sam Houston Counseling Center has seen many students with concerns about their roommates. Miller said that most problems are typically boundary violations of privacy, space and/or property.

“My biggest problem with my roommates is cleaning,” said junior Albert Jimenez.

Jimenez said that sometimes it is hard to keep their off-campus house clean. He said that even after six months of living together, there is still no solution.

Miller said that there are easy steps to solve any problems students have with their roommates. He said if you have a specific complaint, talk about it with your roommate. He said to also realize that when you first begin to live with someone, it is a new situation and can be stressful. Miller advised students to be aware of the stress that they are creating.

“Look at yourself first,” he said.

Miller advised that people who live together make a roommate rule list. The list should include chores, quiet times and visitor rules. He also said that is important to sometimes speak assertively with your roommate. He said that being assertive is not being too aggressive or too passive but right in the middle between the two.

Miller also suggested making sure that students take care of themselves by eating right, exercising and sleeping. He said that when you take care of yourself, conflicts are less likely to stress you out, and you handle them better.

The education portal online also has tips for living with roommates. It encourages students to establish rules, compromise and communicate. It says that if you have a problem, talk about it.

Eric Patterson, a senior music major, has been living with his roommate for over two years. He said that sometimes it is hard, but for the most part, they get along well. He said this is because he trusts his roommate and is very understanding. His advice for people is to get to know your roommate, if possible, before you move in with them.

Patterson said having a roommate may be difficult at times, but you should try to be as respectful and understanding of them as you want them to be of you. He said it is the key to the relationship with him and his roommate.

The Sam Houston State Bulletin Board has a forum for general discussion about roommates. Interestingly enough, many complaints made by students were sexual in nature. Either their roommate had partners over too much, were too loud with their partners or roommates are having trouble finding private time.

Miller said that problems sexual in nature are often problems for a deeper reason. He said that sometimes a person may not have been exposed to such things therefore is reacting more because of the lack of exposure.

Miller said that college is a time that people are still trying to figure out who they are. With a roommate, you have to try and figure out another person and this can prove to be difficult. He said that if you are unable to work out your problems with your roommate, there are other options.

If you live in the dorm, talk to your RM: they have training in roommate conflicts. The Counseling Center also has “couple counseling” for roommates with problems.

For more information, contact Residence Life at 294-1812 or the Counseling Center at 294-1720.