A place where a lot of young people live together cannot be neat and organized all the time. Different personalities clash and bring misbalance in relationships, different habits overlap, and this also leads to conflicts. Some adore the romantic and lively atmosphere that you can find in dormitories, and miss its hustle and bustle in their adult years. However, no one ever mentions the people who absolutely hate chaos and disorganization that reign in dormitories. This article is for these very people. It tells about some hints of trying and finding your balance when living in the dormitory.
Harmony Between Roommates
If you are not lucky enough to rent a room for yourself, be prepared to encounter roommates who are bound to bring an element of surprise in the routine of your daily life. People are different, that is obvious. They also have different habits. If you are someone who irons handkerchiefs and has a clear system of organizing drawers, you are sure to have at least some misunderstandings with your roommate, especially if their socks are all around you and if they like eating pizza with greasy hands right out of the box.
However, it is much better to have one roommate, than a few, since it makes the process of negotiation easier. The key to a harmonious cohabitation lies in a clear talk about the rules that you both need to adhere to. However, do not set strict rules just for your roommate. You need to learn to compromise. For example, if it is really important for your roommate to practice his saxophone, tell him to warn you in advance whenever he needs to play it. Try to balance his requests with yours. Here are some other commons problems and ways to solve them!
Harmony with Staff
Not only students live in the dormitory. Sometimes there are the staff of the dormitory, who is bound to bring you trouble. Make sure to know your rights and your obligations. If there is a rule of not bringing any visitors after 9 PM, you cannot ignore it and then get angry with the staff who impose some penalties on you.
However, you should know where you stand and never let yourself be pushed around. If something is wrong with the facilities, directly contact the staff and tell them about the problem. It is your right to have decent living conditions. Another tip is to remember that the dormitory staff are also human beings that would not like to stress out or get into meaningless conflicts. If you make your requests in a polite and understanding way, you will get a similar reaction in return. You can even try to make friends with them, by bringing them cookies or just making some small talk every day on your way out.
Harmony of Space
Usually in dormitories every student has their own bed, a desk, a wardrobe or closet to put their things. However, if this space is shared, you need to clearly set a boundary of what is the place for your and your roommate’s things. Do not let them invade all your space just because they have extra clothes or some suitcases that they need to store. You may give them access to your space, but only if it does not make you uncomfortable in your living conditions.
If you need to buy some extra tables or drawers, make sure that you both pay half of the sum and know how you will deal with the stuff after graduating. If you buy that furniture for your own use, make sure that your roommate does not use it without paying.
At the same time, do not invade your roommate’s space. Make sure to talk about all these things before you start living together, or whenever it starts bothering you, but use a friendly and sympathetic tone of voice, choosing your words carefully.
Harmony of Activity
Now that we have mentioned physical space, we should also say a few words about psychological space. The activities that you and your roommate prefer during your spare time can be different. Indeed, there are some chatty roommates who want to overshare their problems at all hours of the day. There are some grumpy ones that just listen to music all day and will not pay any attention to you, setting an overly wide psychological distance.
Make sure that you give your roommate a good portion of time so that he or she can do whatever he or she needs to do. Do not yell at them for talking on Skype with their parents or wanting to prepare for exams when you have just suffered a breakup and need some comfort. Your activities need to be in harmony, and that concerns spending time together and apart with the same amount of comfort.
Harmony of Timetables
There are some universities with the so-called morning and day or even evening shifts. If you attend evening classes and your roommate goes to early classes, you may have some disagreements about time tables. His or her alarm clock can wake you up when you have just gone to bed. Or your roommate may want to invite some friends after class when you need to study for your classes.
These problems might seem harsh to you, but the way to harmonious cohabitation in all cases should go through polite and understanding conversation. You need to create a space where you and your roommate can share problems and work out some solutions. Maybe you can go study in the library, when your roommate has some friends over. Or your roommate can set the alarm on vibration mode and put it under the pillow. There are different ways to solve conflicts by compromising and showing the equal amount of attention. May your life in the dorm be harmonious!