How to overcome conflicts when living with a new roommate

May 13, 2013

Alexander Nedd
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College – the ultimate transition to adulthood. Here, memories are made, majors are selected and parties in full swing.

But with college comes great responsibility. Here at UCCS, responsibility transfers to more than just the classroom.

Dorm rooms can be an escape from the work and trials of school, where friends can hangout. For freshmen, a dorm room marks the first time on your own, away from your parents. However, it is more than likely that during your first semester on campus you will have a roommate.

To help aid the process, students on campus shared what to expect with roommates and life in the dorms.

“Make sure you guys recognize your differences,” said Shante Harvell, a psychology major. “Also discuss [cleaning] and having guests over and respecting each other’s space.”

Dylan Shuster, a biochemistry and chemistry major, has advice from sharing a dorm at UCCS as well.

“If you have that automatic want to hang out with your roommate, go with it,” Shuster said. “If you think you won’t get along, ignore it.” He parted with this advice on what freshmen should bring to their dorms: “Also, get a plunger.”

As always, there are resources to help you and your needed accommodations on campus. UCCS provides resident assistants to every housing area who will help you adjust to your college schedule.

Here are four other tips to help you and your roommate become the best of friends:

1. Get to know your roommate

Say hi. Meeting your roommate for the first time doesn’t have to be a frightening experience.  Find out what things you have in common or go explore the campus together.

UCCS offers a host of activities during orientation week. Bring your roommate along and make new friends.

2. Set ground rules

We all have them, and it’s important to lay them down out at the start. Explain to your roommates what is and is not OK.

Maybe your friends like to party but you’re not into that scene. Setting explicit ground rules also sets clear expectations and allows you to keep true to your morals.

3. Resolve conflicts

There are bound to be times when your roommate gets on your nerves. Maybe he forgets to put the seat down. Maybe she leaves her curling iron on all the time.

It’s important to note that when a conflict arises, it’s good to talk about it instead of letting it fester into something bigger. Conflict resolution can easily be solved by talking to one another and finding a compromise.

4. Keep things clean

No one likes a dirty room. It can be a hassle having to find your stuff around your dorm when you’re running late to class.

Having a clean bathroom and dorm room can help keep spaces organized and maintain healthy status. Keeping things clean also refers to content allowed in the dorms.

Remember, UCCS prohibits certain items on college grounds, so make sure your dorm stays within UCCS regulations and Colorado law.