One of the biggest changes that students need to contend with when they go off to attend college is the notion of living in close proximity with a bunch of strangers. For some, this can be an extrovert’s greatest adventure; for others, this can potentially be a very stressful experience.
While there’s no real way to anticipate what sort of people you’ll end up living with, there are a handful of helpful things you might want to keep in mind that will help you live peacefully with your roommate(s).
To begin with, it may be helpful to draw up a roommate agreement. Some universities will require this of you, but even if they don’t, it may be a good idea. A roommate agreement may sound a little silly, but it might save you from some serious disagreements down the road.
You and your roommate can draw up agreements on common issues, such as quiet hours or policies regarding visitors. You don’t want to get stuck with a roommate that plays loud music when you want to study at night, or frequently has disruptive guests over. At the beginning of the year, you can agree that certain times of day, or certain days of the week, are off-limits for visitors.
It’s hardly legally binding, but it at least gives you something to stand on should a problem arise; your RA can better help you if there’s an agreement to consult.
Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t make changes to your agreement as time goes on. You can adjust the agreement as you grow more comfortable with each other, and your needs as a student slowly change as your education continues.
At the end of the day, though, there’s really no better way to co-exist with a roommate than to simply be civil. You don’t always get to pick who you live with (at least in your freshman year), but a little bit of patience goes a long way. If you have an issue, there’s no harm in bringing it to his or her attention calmly. A little bit of communication goes a long way.
Of course, roommate issues are a defining characteristic of “traditional” colleges. Those who have embraced the convenience and efficiency of distance learning may be blessedly exempt from such frustrations.
Online colleges offer a highly attractive alternative to brick-and-mortar schools, improving on many areas of concern that give traditional students pause. For example, you’ll never have to live with a stranger; you can complete your coursework from just about anywhere, whether that means you’re at home in your pajamas, at a coffee shop, or at your local library. With online education, you have remote access to streaming lectures and other quality online coursework, meaning you don’t have to commute and you don’t have to live with strangers.
If you’ve been putting off pursuing your higher education because of certain circumstances, or you felt you couldn’t afford it, there are some great (accredited) online schools that can help put remove any anxieties you might have.
Your journey begins on eCollegeFinder. At eCollegeFinder, we pride ourselves on being one of the most trusted resources for online education. We’ll help you choose the online college that best fits your ambitions and goals, and work with you to make sure your college experience gets the best start possible.