College Dorm Room Tips: Hook Up Your Dorm offers 5 tips for sharing your dorm room space with a roommate.
Long before you arrive at college on move-in day, complete with your parents and an SUV packed to the gills with all of your worldly possessions, you'll be mail-bombed by your university of choice with all of the details of your living arrangements for the upcoming year. Most of the time, freshmen dorm rooms are designed for at least two people - meaning you have to prepare to cohabitate a space in ways you never have before. Chances are, having a college roommate will be the first time that you are sharing the same space for living, studying and sleeping with someone else your age. That's a lot of time together, especially if sharing is a foreign concept. It's important to be prepared so that you and your roommate start off on the right foot and make it through the year in close quarters. At Hook Up Your Dorm, we have some pointers to help you through the process.
Over the summer, your college will likely provide you with contact information for your roommate. Get in touch! You'll need to have the important conversations about furnishing your room - he brings the TV, you'll bring the DVD player and microwave - but make sure to take it further than that. Get to know one another a little bit, even if it's just over the phone or online, instead of walking into your freshman year living with a complete stranger. Even if you don't become the best of friends, you'll both be glad to have an ally when you leave home for the first time.
Since you have a limited amount of space you'll need to designate zones for each of your belongings. Usually you'll be provided with separate dressers or closets, but it isn't out of the ordinary to have shared storage space that will hold both of your things. Often, your university will give you a heads up about the storage situation before you arrive at school. If necessary, be sure to purchase space-efficient storage solutions before you get there - you don't want to start off your year with your things scattered all over the floor and imposing upon limited real estate on your dorm room floor. Also, make sure you and your roommate have a policy for the use of one another's things. The Xbox or flat iron might be fair game for use anytime, but you should be certain you have permission before you go out at night wearing something that belongs to your roomie. By setting these boundaries ahead of time, you save yourself from potential conflict later. The key to sharing space successfully is respecting one another's space, which includes the general area of the room itself, as well as your possessions.
Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
Don't get us wrong, we don't want you to be overly confrontational - but your experience with a roommate will be worlds better if you are both open with one another and are not afraid to discuss a complaint. Maybe you had a test the next day and your roommate came home late being noisy - it's okay to express that these behaviors won't fly. The ability to have civil conversations about the space you share will enhance your freshman year experience and improve your relationship with your roommate. Make sure they're comfortable doing the same for you.
We hope these pointers about sharing space with a freshman year roommate help - there's nothing worse than living with someone that you don't get along with, so try to follow the tips to keep things light, neat and friendly in your freshman dorm.
-Dorm Expert Sam