As an international student myself being far from home is hard, but when you have to live with a someone new for 8 months… now that’s just the icing on the cake. There are a lot mixed feelings about living with a roommate for the first time when coming into first year of university. It’s exciting and also nerve wrecking. What if we become really close friends? What if I can’t stand the person? Will he/she be clean? These are only few out of the many questions that I’ve pondered before entering first year. Resident roommate questionaries can either be a hit or miss when finding the right match for a roommate and luckily for me I got a hit. From my experience having a roommate isn’t exactly what the movies portray it to be, even if you get along with the person. For my incoming first year students here are a few tips that I’ve done that helped me avoid roommate drama and making living with someone enjoyable.
It’s always awkward at first when it comes to setting boundaries to someone that you just met but it is necessary. By mentioning a few things that you are comfortable with and uncomfortable with will help the person understand on how to live with you the best way possible. While doing this you also get to learn a lot more about the person and become closer.
Respect one another
Believe it or not, when you are living with another person you have to think about how the other person may feel with certain actions you do in your room. If you want to have a friend over for the night, ask your roommate to see if they comfortable with the plan before you make any final arrangements. This way he/she is informed in advance and won’t be surprised or placed at an inconvenience. Or if your roommate falls asleep earlier than you and you want to FaceTime a friend or family member, be respectful, and do it outside your room or in a common room. Once you show respect to someone then you will get respect back and it will make your life a lot easier.
These are just a few things that I’ve done that has helped make my living experience with someone manageable. Sometimes you can get lucky and don’t really have to do any of these, but eventually in life you will have to learn to live with someone. Whether if you live in an apartment with your best friend or share a room with your siblings these same principles still apply. However, regardless of who live with don’t forget to have fun and make the most out of your university life. Living in residence has been an unforgettable experience with many personal stories made and an added bonus to my student life at U of T.