Posts Tagged ‘college roommate’

How to Be a Great College Roomie

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

How to Be a Great Roomie

Going to college means you get to experience freedom (no parents!), fun and, of course, living with a roommate. If you’re like most students and get your first roommate by the luck of the draw, it’s possible you could end up with many stories to tell.

You may have good stories like how you remarkably have all the same interests or how your roommate got you food from the dining center when you were sick. Or bad stories like he never washes his clothes (which are in one large, smelly pile in the middle of the floor), he uses your iPad without permission or she locks you out of the room all day (and night) when her boyfriend comes to town.

Although you may have certain expectations for your college roommate, he or she probably has expectations for you, too. Being a college roommate is a two-way street, though. So, how can you be the best roomie you can be?

Keep it clean. The room doesn’t have be pristine, but it goes a long way to create a pleasant living environment if you keep your dirty clothes in a hamper and not on the floor. If you use a shared microwave, clean it up if your SpaghettiOs lunch explodes all over it, and wash the dishes you use (so they don’t start to reek, mold or attract creepy crawly insects).

Be considerate. If your roommate has an 8 a.m. class and needs to go to bed early, be kind and don’t blare your music, video games or have friends over when she’s trying to sleep. Hopefully she’ll be just as considerate when you need quiet time to study or sleep!

Respect each other’s space. You’ll each have your own desk, bed and even a closet and/or dresser. There’s no need to go through your roommates things when he’s not there. Also, remember to ask your roommate permission to borrow her earrings or use his PlayStation before you use it. You wouldn’t want your roommate to take your stuff without asking, would you?

Talk about problems. If you experience an issue with your roommate, talk to him or her (in a calm tone of voice) before it escalates. Be open to hearing his or her point of view, and be willing to compromise to find a solution. If there’s a huge issue you can’t deal with through talking directly with your roommate, ask your Resident Assistant (RA) for help.

Be realistic. Living in the dorms should be fun, but no roommate will be ideal. You’ll likely have disagreements and she may get on your nerves now and then, but remember, your roommate is human just like you. And, it’s perfectly fine if you’re just roommates and don’t become BFFs.

For more tips on being a good roommate check out Saint Louis University’s How to Be a Roommate guide, Washington College’s Roommates 101 videos and tips and the University of Colorado-Boulder’s 10 Crucial Tips for Getting Along With Your Roommate.

Image credit: Courtesy of Brenda/Sweetapathy, Flickr Creative Commons

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7 Things NOT to Share With Your College Roommate

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Dorm Room

What to Bring to College

Earlier this week, we brought you information on items you’ll want to bring to college and share with your college roommate. Today, we’re bringing you the opposite: things you won’t want to share with your roommate. Here’s our list of items you’ll want to bring for your own use at college:

1. Alarm clock—We know you’ve got an alarm clock on your smartphone, but sometimes it’s good to have a back up in case your phone battery dies in the middle of the night.

2. Laptop and/or tablet—You’ll need your laptop and/or tablet to take notes in class and work on homework, so it’s a good idea to have your own. Check with your college’s IT department to find out what specifications to look for if you’re buying a new device just for college.

3. Dishware and food storage containers—Even if you have a dining plan, it’s likely you’ll eat a meal or snack in your room at some point. You won’t need much of this, but you’ll want a couple of microwaveable plates and bowls; a few forks, knives and spoons; a cup or coffee mug; and a couple of food storage containers. Having a few of these items of your own will ensure you’ll have what you need when you want to eat a snack or quick breakfast in your room.

4. Shower supplies—We’re not just talking toiletries like shampoo, conditioner and soap. You’ll want your own shower caddy/basket to haul your shower essentials to and from the bathroom, as well as your own set (or two) or towels and a pair of plastic shower flip flops. And don’t forget a bathrobe so you can cover up while walking down the hall to the shower.

5. Bedding—Obviously, each of you will have your own bed, so each of you will need to bring sheets (usually extra long ones), a blanket, a bedspread and even pillows.

6. Bike—This is something you could possibly share with your roommate, but if you plan to use your bike a lot to go to class across campus, you may want to take your own (as well as a good bike chain and lock) so it’s available for you to use when you need it.

7. Video game console—If you want to play video games and don’t want to start over at level 1, you may want to bring your own console.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

8 Things to Share With Your College Roommate

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Dorm Life

Things to Share With Your Roommate

Once you get your college roommate assignment, you can start planning who will bring what to college in the fall.

Before you contact your roommate, check your college’s housing office website (or contact the housing office directly) to see what items are already included in the room and learn about rules for items you can and can’t bring. A typical dorm room usually includes a bed/mattress, desk, desk chair and a dresser, along with a cable TV and Internet connection.

Many of the items you’ll want to share with your roommate are big-ticket items. By sharing these with your roommate, you can cut the cost of items you’ll need to bring with you during your freshman year. So you can avoid having two microwaves and no TV, here’s a list of dorm room items to discuss with your future roomie (and hopefully, your future best friend).

1. TV and DVD player—When you’re not studying, a TV and DVD player in your room will come in handy for entertainment. You won’t need a large one, so a small, inexpensive flat screen TV might be a good option. The DVD player will come in handy so you can watch videos rented at the Redbox down the street or via Netflix.

2. Microwave—Some colleges may not allow these in dorms rooms (or may already have them available), so check with your housing office before buying. If microwaves are allowed, check on wattage requirements.

3. Mini-refrigerator—Check with your housing before buying this item. Some colleges may already have these included in the room, while others may have size restrictions on how large your mini-fridge can be.

4. Coffee maker—Whether one or both of you drink coffee, you only need one of these machines taking up space in your dorm room. Some colleges require coffee makers to have an automatic shut-off.

5. Room décor—Talk with your roommate about what he or she plans to bring to decorate your room. This way you can color-coordinate your room, and split up the purchasing of items like rugs and posters.

6. Ironing board and iron—Having two ironing boards and irons just takes up more space, so these two items could be more things you can share. ’Cuz really, how often do you iron your clothes anyway?

7. Extra furniture—Although dorms rooms typically aren’t super huge, many students make room for an extra chair (such as a recliner or a bean bag chair) or even a small futon. Talk with your roommate about what he or she plans to bring, so you don’t both end up bringing a big piece of furniture and end up arguing about who will take theirs back home.

8. Fans—If your dorm room isn’t air conditioned (or even if it is), having a couple of fans to circulate the air and keep it cool (especially in the first few months of school) will help keep your room comfortable. Talk to your roommate about how many fans and what kinds of fans (box fan, circulating fan, etc.) you want to bring.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

How Can You Save Money on Rent While in College?

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Living on campus isn’t for everyone.  The sooner you make the decision whether you want to live on campus or live elsewhere, the better off you will likely be and the more you will enjoy your overall college experience.  Why would you opt for living off campus instead of living in the dorms and experiencing dorm life firsthand?

There Are Pros and Cons to College Dorm Life

Dorm life has a good deal to offer, but there are some drawbacks as well.  If you value your privacy, you may have issues living in a dorm setting.  If, however, you are the type that loves to gossip, then you will feel as though you have died and gone to heaven!  Population density is quite high in the dorms and that is a fairly universal situation.

There are a variety of personal reasons that dorm life might not be for you, as living in the dorms isn’t necessarily for everyone.  However, there are other reasons to consider living off campus as well.  One of those reasons is that not all campus living is equal.  Let’s face facts; some college campuses are just plain better than others!  There is no reason to live in a horrible dorm just to say that you lived in a dorm while in college!  Yet, keep in mind that many schools require dorm living at least during freshmen year.

Location and Roommate Factors

Living off campus can get pricy, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.  Many variables depend on what city and area your college campus is located.  The more urban the campus, the more options that you will have for rent.  With these options can come the opportunity to save money!  You might want to consider working with real estate agents to see if they can’t help you find a great fit.  Oftentimes rental companies handle renting apartments and working with one of these companies could save you a tremendous amount of hassle and time.

Having roommates is potentially a good idea for keeping your rent bills down while in college, but having a bad roommate can be more disruptive to your life and your study habits than any potentially bad dorm situation.  This means you want to invest the time to make sure you are making the right decision when it comes to having a roommate.

The Small and Very Small Apartment Options

For those that don’t plan on spending much time at home, there are the two great college student options of the small or very small apartment.  Sure you might not have much more room than you did in your bedroom at home, but the tradeoff could be low rent.  Those willing to live in a tiny apartment often have the option to live in a very central location.  If you are not claustrophobic, this option might work extremely well for you!

College dorm life isn’t for everyone, and every college campus is different.  These are all reasons that you might want to consider off campus options.  Yet, it is important to remember that for many people, the college dorm life experience is a great deal of fun and provides lasting memories.

What Should You Do with a Bad College Roommate?

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Part of knowing how to survive college and make the most out of your dorm life experience is having a good or at least a working relationship with your roommate.  You are likely spending a good deal of time thinking about college, and may even be wondering how to find a college roommate.  If you are living in the dorms, then your roommate will be selected for you.  Yet, it is important that you don’t just live with the bad results of a random matching process.  If you are feeling as though you just can’t live with your roommate, realize that there are steps you can take.  Now, let’s take a look at a few of the ways that you can deal with your bad roommate situation.

Few things can be quite as painful as having a bad roommate whether you are in college or are living in your first apartment or even your tenth apartment.  In short, a bad roommate can sour your entire life!  Step one in dealing with a problematic roommate is to see if your problems can be resolved.  If you pause to think about the problems and the conflict at the heart of those problems you may find a solution.  Sometimes good communication can smooth over poor relationships and start things heading in another direction, yet this doesn’t always work.  If you first make attempts to resolve your conflict points with your roommate and are met with no success then you may have to consider getting the university involved.

Before you begin discussing your issues with university or college officials, it is usually prudent that you’ve first discussed your problems with your roommate.  The reason for this is that the officials are likely to ask, perhaps even as their first question, “Have you discussed this with Roommate X?”  If you answer “no,” they may conclude that you haven’t tried hard enough to resolve the conflict, and this could put you in a bad light.  However, if you are able to detail and outline your attempts to resolve the situation, you look mature, capable and reasonable.

Are there exceptions to this rule?  In short, most definitely.  If you fear that your roommate is dangerous or may lash out at you in some damaging way, then you are better off going straight to your university or college officials.

Visiting your college advisor so that he or she can help guide you towards your next step may ultimately be your only move.  Once this process begins, it is best that you work with college officials to resolve the situation quickly and find you another room or roommate if at all possible.  No matter how the situation works out, try and stay calm and keep from making an enemy for life!  Situations of this kind can be heated.  Remember that your goal is to get a new room or a new roommate and not to teach your roommate a life lesson or to change his or her personality.  The important thing in this situation is to quickly get the roommate issue resolved so you can get back to focusing on academics.

You Can Find a Great College Roommate!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Much goes into having a great college experience.  Getting stuck with a bad college roommate is something that you want to avoid.  College dorm life can, of course, be tricky, and you might not have too much say over what kind of roommate that you might have.  However, if you are living off campus, then you may need to find a college roommate.  There is another question you need to ask first and that is, “Do I definitely need a roommate or even want a roommate?”  Whether or not you have a roommate during college is largely a matter of finances for most people.  Of course, if you are a freshmen living in the dorms, most schools will automatically assign a roommate to you.  In this case, you will most likely be living with someone you have never met before.

However, if you decide to live off-campus, you will be able to select who you live with.  If you are willing to travel more miles or more minutes to attend your college, you will be able to find cheaper rent in many locations.  This could translate into not having to have a college roommate.  Secondly, if you are willing to have a much smaller apartment, you may once again be able to avoid having a college roommate.  Thus keep in mind that you might have options where a college roommate is concerned.  So think over those options instead of just assuming that there is only one path.

Don’t Forget You Could Spend a Great Deal of Time with Your Roommate

If you do decide that you want a roommate or must have a roommate due to financial reasons, choose wisely and carefully if possible.  After all, you are getting stuck with the person (or people) you pick, potentially in close quarters and under a potentially stressful situation for weeks on end.  Having a stressful day only to know that you must go home and face a roommate that you hate is very unpleasant.

Keeping all of this in mind, don’t jump at the first person that responds to your ad for a roommate or jump at the first apartment or room that you see.  Like with most things, it will likely pay to shop around.

Also don’t be afraid to trust your gut instincts.  If you feel as though a situation is bad news, then go with that gut feeling.  If for no other reason imagine how horrible you will feel constantly telling yourself, “I knew better,” or “I had a bad feeling, why didn’t I listen to it?”

A great apartment or house can derail your judgment, and you need to be on guard against this happening to you.  Simply stated, a great space can make you overlook important other factors.

On one hand, you don’t want to behave as though your life depends on selecting your college roommate.  But on the other hand, you don’t want to get stuck with someone that is going to drive you crazy either.  Knowing your own limits, what you like and don’t like, and what you can tolerate are all essential pieces of information that will serve you well.  Listen to your gut, use your commonsense and, if necessary, get advice from other people as well.

How To Live With A Diabetic Roommate

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

You’re moving into your new apartment or dorm room for college and just met your new roommate. You don’t know each other, but figure that overtime, you will become great friends. One day, you notice there is a prescription left on the counter for insulin. You figure it must be your roommates, but you don’t know how to approach the subject of diabetes. What should you do?

Scenarios such as this one occur to college students every year, and it is important to learn how to approach the subject of diabetes. The number of people living with diabetes has increased drastically over the years, so the likelihood that this could happen to you is greater than ever. Matt Tutelman has had a similar experience. Having been a diabetic in college, Tutelman has great advice for someone who may want to approach the subject with their roommate.

First, your instinct may be to want to ask your roommate if they have diabetes; however, it is important to let your roommate tell you in their own time and in their own way. People differ and the subject may be more delicate to one person than another. They will tell you as soon as they feel comfortable enough to approach the subject.

Once your roommate is comfortable enough to tell you, be open to learning about how to test for blood sugar and how insulin shots are administered. In college, Tutelman taught his roommate how to administer a shot and check for blood sugar in case there was an emergency. Tutelman recalled there was even a time where his roommate checked for his blood sugar, while he was sick and sleeping, because his roommate was concerned.

You may want to get them a medical ID bracelet, assuming they don’t already have one. Tutelman said the best benefit of one is peace of mind. It will ensure your roommate that if a medical emergency were to occur, others would know of their condition. You don’t have to settle for something clunky that looks like a hospital bracelet. Companies today provide stylish types that don’t even look like they contain medical information, like these fashionable medical ID bracelets from Hope Paige. With the holidays approaching, these would also be a great, inexpensive present.

Another issue for a diabetic college student may be dealing with their diet. Tutelman was diagnosed before he came to college, so he already had a healthy-based diet. But for someone who has been newly diagnosed, you may want to keep-in-mind that maintaining a healthy diet is important for them, especially if they struggle with getting into the routine of eating healthy and remembering to take their insulin. If they seem to be feeling ill, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have remember to taken their insulin. It is best to be alert and supportive at the same time. The American Diabetes Association has some great tips on eating healthy for diabetics that you or your roommate can reference.

About the Author
Becky Bennett is a freelance writer who writes for 352 Media Group, a digital marketing and Web design company.

Reason #5,399 Why You Should Consider Dorm Living

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Need another reason why you should consider dorm living at least for your Freshman year at college? Students from Le Tourneau University’s residence halls competed in an annual event where they run, play, bike, swim, think, and eat their way to victory!

Dorm living isn’t always easy but the experiences and friendships can last a lifetime. On-campus housing can definitely help create an easy transition to college. Why not live right where the action is? Watch LU Games 2010 on YouTube or below.

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Vassar College: What Did You Learn Today

Friday, November 5th, 2010

You asked us on the My College Guide Facebook Page for more information about college life and we’ve definitely answered! You wanted to know what it’s really like. We understand. So, we dug up a fun little video from Vassar College to give you a better idea of what college life (and a typical college day) is like — and there’s more where that came from!

You probably have your fair share of misconceptions about college: that it’s nothing but studying, or that it’s nothing but partying, but we wanted to show you actual college students during a normal day at college: what they think, what they’re wearing, and, more importantly, what they’ve learned in one single day. What better way than this fantastic video from Vassar College? Watch What did you learn today? on YouTube or below.

Vassar: What did you learn today?

On-campus Living: Home Away from Home Trials, Tribulations and Fun

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Michael Sarver

As a college freshman, it’s probably the first time you’ll be living away from home. It’s the first time you’ll be responsible for your own curfew, doing your own laundry and preparing your own meals. It’s a very exciting time for most, but college life can be a scary one at the same time. Finding ways to deal with the change in your environment can make the difference from a successful college transition and a bombed attempt.

5 Ways to Deal with Campus Living

Be open with your roomie. Your college roommate may be the complete opposite of you, but this doesn’t mean you can’t live together in harmony. Be sure to always talk openly with your roommate, setting ground rules and expectations with each other from day one.

Be open-minded. College is about meeting new people and experiencing new things. Be open-minded so that you’ll have a chance to mix and mingle with people that may have different backgrounds from you. Join new groups on campus and participate in activities that allow you to expand your horizons.

Don’t forget to study. The primary reason you’re at college is to learn, so it is important to schedule time to study and do your homework. Dorm living may not present the ideal environment for hunkering down for quiet time, so find a spot on or off campus that allows you to put in quality homework and study time.

Learn from your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and college freshmen are definitely not exceptions to this rule. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and move on from it. If you don’t score as high on a test or paper as you expected because you went to a party instead, you know you need to skip the social activities and put more time into your school work. If you accidentally mix a red sock in with your white clothes and now everything is pink, you know to better sort your laundry next time.

Eat, Sleep and Decrease Stress. There are a lot of stress factors that come with being away at college. The important thing is to try to eat and sleep as properly as you can. These two factors can help you to deal with the stress of it all a lot more effectively than if you’re tackling stress without proper nutrition and enough sleep.

Heading off to college is fun and exciting but it has some trials and tribulations that come along with it. Finding ways to effectively manage and deal with the transition of living away from home for the first time is the key to a smooth transition.