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Surviving Dorm Life

Posted by: | June 18, 2009 | 1 Comment |

By Kerry Sheats, Broadside Copy Chief

For those of us who left the choosing of a roommate up to pure chance, here are a few tips on getting along with the person with whom you will be living for the next eight or so months.

Get in touch with your roommate via e-mai, phone or Facebook as soon as possible. StudentWeb, gives you your roommate’s name and George Mason University e-mail address. Introducing yourself and exchanging your general likes and dislikes allows you to address any concerns that you think will arise in the future. Between the two of you (or however many people with whom you are sharing a room), decide who will be bringing what before move-in day. It can be unbelievably annoying to arrive at your residence hall and have two televisions and no refrigerator. Speaking of move-in day, it may also be helpful to find out an approximate time of you and your roommate’s arrival.

After the dust of moving in settles, it is time to lay down some ground rules. Many “rules” and concerns will be addressed in a roommate contract, but be sure to be specific and honest, as this contract is signed by all roommates and will not change unless all roommates agree to the changes. Some things to discuss with your roommate include approximate times you will wake, study and sleep, when guests are allowed and preferences when it comes to sharing food, appliances or movies.

One concern of many students involves their significant others. This can be a tricky subject for many roommates to tackle, given the diverse religions, beliefs and morals of students. Some roommates do not mind having someone else’s significant other in the room, while other students would prefer for visitation to occur outside of their room. Whatever your preference, make sure that you communicate it to your roommate. This communication may also include a “signal” that lets your roomie know that you have company. A signal can be anything from a text saying “John is over and will leave around 4 p.m. Can you find somewhere else to hang out until then?” to a rubber band or necktie on the doorknob.

Above all else, remember that all roommates have equal rights to the room—you all paid the same amount, after all. As such, remember to respect each other’s space. If conflicts do arise, talk to your roommate and try to resolve the issue. If this does not work, see if your resident advisor can help improve the situation.

Check out a video about the Student Media Staff’s dorm experience.

under: College Life