Whether you are still in college, have recently graduated, or are a long-term college grad by now, you can fully appreciate the bond that comes with having a roommate. I currently live with four roommates. Each of us is an extremely different individual with strong personalities. The beauty of college is that there are people all around you to make friends with, go out with, study with, grab coffee with, or whatever it may be. Yet, whom you live with can make a huge impact on one’s college experience. You may not have the same roommates each year in college. Its no hidden fact that some roommates become your best friends and some roommates simply become people you say a friendly “hi” to around campus. Roommates can be a huge blessing or a huge curse, depending on how you look at it and how you choose to communicate with your roommate.
Put simply, one of the most crucial aspects of living with another person is communication. Recently, my roommates and I all sat down in what felt like a business meeting. We addressed the rules and wishes that would surround our new apartment, our little home together. Although it felt and began with a sort of formal, mediation type feel I found that the communication that took place during this so called meeting was refreshing and lively. When people are vulnerable with one another and lay out their issues, A LOT can be accomplished. When it comes to roommates, if the two people are willing to be open, honest, caring, empathetic, and also firm with certain issues it can lead to a deeper bond at the end of the day. The talks go from “hey do you mind if I ____?” all the way to raw and real and funny conversations like “hey I’m really struggling with ___” or the “Sorry I was in my room getting a spray tan from a lady who comes to your house with her own spray tan tank ____”.
The thing about roommates is that you do LIFE with them. If your roommate is not your best friend, that is okay. But the beauty about living with someone and doing life with them is that it takes communication, it takes a voice, and it takes communication to resolve, move forward, and ultimately co-exist as roommates. Communication simply could mean asking questions, being genuinely interested in the other persons preferences, personality traits, and interests, being a whole-hearted listener, being firm when needed, inflicting grace in your words, showing kindness, building one another up, showing encouragement, helping each other out with problems, demonstrating tough love and constructive words, and so forth.
Don’t be afraid to building a relationship with your roommate by making an intention to communicate. Just talk. When silence comes in and people bottle up most of what they would say to another person, especially your roommate, remember that you can solve a lot of problems by going below the surface level and realizing the power of genuinely wanting to hear out what the other person says. At the end of the day, roommates who communicate together, stay together.