Keeping the Peace

Let’s be honest, our freshman roommate experiences aren’t always ideal.  Very rarely do people get placed with a roommate (or two) that they are 100% compatible with.  Surely it does happen, but we’re not all quite that lucky.  That’s why it’s important to keep the peace.  You don’t have to love your roommate.  You don’t have to agree with everything they say or do or like.  All you have to do is be able to live with them for nine months!  Sounds easy, right?  Well it definitely isn’t, but it’s an important skill to learn.  Keeping the peace is something you’ll need to do for the rest of your life, so you might as well learn now!

As a transfer student, I’ve had a great deal of experience with random roommates of all different kinds.  I’ve dealt with the party animals, the night owls, the early birds, the hibernators, the overly opinionated, and the always correct.  Believe me, it hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve managed to survive each one of them.  Here are some tips that helped me get through:

1. Kill them with kindness!  Be so, overwhelmingly nice to them that they have no reason not to like you.  Don’t give them reasons to bad-mouth you to their friends or groan every time you enter the room.  Be kind to them and hope that the act is reciprocated.

2. Smile and nod!  It’s impossible to argue with someone who’s “always right,” so why bother trying?  It’s one of the most difficult things to do, especially if you feel strongly about the topic, but sometimes you need to just smile and nod and say, “yes, you’re right.”  Then move on!

3. Find your own study spot.  Whether it’s the library, common room, dining hall, or a coffee shop, it doesn’t matter.  As long as you always have somewhere to escape to do get your work done, you’ll be all set!

Those tips are a great place to start, but we all know some people are extremely difficult to keep peace with.  In those cases, RA’s are great to talk to.  They can offer their own advice and help you out if need be.  Life with roommates is tough, but always remember to be the roommate you would want to live with.



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