New roommates bring valuable life lessons

Fall semester for many SF State students, especially freshman, means new professors, classes and people to meet. A roommate is unavoidable for those who choose to live on campus, and a bad roommate will only increase the stress of an already busy student.

Many freshmen and campus residents are forced to squeeze into a dorm room with five feet of walkable space. With so little room to share, problems can often arise. As bad as this situation sounds, dealing with it productively can help develop lifelong communicative skills.

To be able to deal with a roommate who won’t cooperate with you can be tiresome and even scary. There are factors such as hygiene, item ownership and noise. To ignore such concerns will only create more problems. It’s best to handle any grievances as soon as possible. 

According to CNN’s “College roommate survival tips,” roommates are never exactly the same in habits, but owning up to your tendencies early on can help avoid conflict.

Chances are your roommate isn’t doing anything intentionally harmful towards you. Learning to tactfully address important concerns is not only prudent, but a necessary life skill to any successful relationship. The first step is to express any of your problems directly.

It gets easier the more you do it, and the benefit of the practice can extend to many other situations. Employers want a person that can take action and initiative in any given environment. Romantic relationships would benefit from the ability to express concerns in a calm manner.

According to the online article, “Surviving Your Roommate,” by Claire Colvin, learning to live with a stranger teaches you how to live with yourself. Every action you take in your room will affect the other person. You must factor every move you make and decide whether or not it is disrespectful or inconsiderate.

Don’t blast your music at 1 a.m. when you know your roommate is sleeping and has an 8 a.m. class. This would appear to be common sense, but unfortunately many people lack it. You must approach every situation and re-evaluate everything from your roommate’s perspective.

“I view it kind of like work,” 18-year-old urban studies and planning major, Jon Hamada said. “If we work together we can live well together.”

Hamada also encourages a healthy relationship with his roommate by inviting him out to social events as well as campus activities. Take out your roommate, introduce them to your friends, meet their friends and most of all establish a bond so that both of you can work together at home. There’s no harm in doing this, not only will you meet new people, you’ll only learn more about your roommate. Maybe someday they’ll be a good friend or even your best friend. If you guys aren’t compatible, at least your roommate knows you’ve made an effort.

Everyone has a different situation with roommates. It’s up to you to find out and assess the appropriate measures to ensure a comfortable home environment. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about yourself and others.