Story & Photo by Selena Williams, Features Editor
Depending on a student’s living situation while attending college, they might stay on campus. If that person decides to live in a dorm, they will most likely have a roommate. Cohabitation can be complicated, especially when the person is a complete stranger. Knowing what to expect beforehand can make things easier for students living on campus.
Alyssa Loveless, Director of Residence Life, said students who are living with a roommate should respect one another and have clear principles and expectations.
“Having clear guidelines about expectations from the beginning is always the best practice,” Loveless said.
When roommates have a disagreement such as someone eating their food without permission, they need to be proactive about having a face to face conversation about it. She explained things can get misinterpreted over text messaging.
“It’s when little things go unchecked that they fester into bigger issues,” Loveless said.
“Residence Life staff is always available to mediate roommate disagreements, but the roommates need to first have a conversation amongst themselves to try and resolve the issue.”
Loveless recommended having weekly roommate dinners, and cooking together, attending Residence Life events together, and keeping the lines of communication open are other important tips for students to remember. Knowing someone else who is living on campus can help make a student feel a sense of security while staying in a dorm.
Rose State sophomore Artavia Walker is a political science major who has lived on campus before.
“I recommend that students living on campus should at least know someone personally who will be living on-campus as well because that way the student doesn’t feel alone,” Walker said.
Learning how to see people for who they are and understand that no one is the same is key for students trying to get along with their roommates. To do this, a person must be willing to abandon any assumptions or emotional baggage, such as resentments or ego clashes, that prevent a person from seeing someone clearly. The key is to remain unbiased and receive information without preconceived notions.
Amber Mitchell, Director of Trio Student Support Services, said that a student should have an open mind, appreciate people for who they are and recognize that not everyone has the same life experiences or perspectives that you do.
“A student should come in with a positive attitude and communication is key,” Mitchell said. “Also, a student should be strong enough to express when they’re frustrated or upset, but be patient with those that are frustrated with them.”
Mitchell has some personal experience living with roommates. When she attended the University of Oklahoma, she did a six-week summer internship in Washington D.C. and attended classes at Georgetown University. She was housed in the dorms and had to live with a couple of students. She said that it was a part of other the learning experience at Georgetown.
“Living in a dorm was a good experience because I had already been in college for several years and I never lived in a dorm,” Mitchell said. “Most of the time I think we have options if we don’t like someone. We can walk away or choose not to spend time with them, but living with someone that isn’t your choice forces you to find alternatives to develop that skill set. So, you can say, I’m in this situation, and I have to make the best of it.”
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