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Residence Survival Guide - Part Four: Getting Along With Your Roommate lorend Residence & Off-Campus Living 4 08-24-2007 08:14 PM

Residence Survival Guide Part 4: Getting Along With Your Roommate

 
Old 08-13-2007 at 03:21 PM   #1
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Residence Survival Guide Part 4: Getting Along With Your Roommate
Residence Survival Guide
Part Four: Getting Along With Your Roommate

By Danielle Lorenz

I'm sure you've all heard that residence is what you make of it. If you get involved you can make your residence experience a great one. For most people, they'll be moving into residence with some one they have never met before, a perfect stranger. This can be both scary and exciting at the same time. For this article, I'm probably not the best one to be writing it since I unfortunately did not have a good roommate experience. I honestly tried really hard to get to know that person, but no matter what I did it didn't work. Based on my experiences, and grievances I have compiled a list of tips which I think will help you out while living with someone else.

Don't let my experience scare you, though. Just because it happened to me doesn't mean it will happen to you. Most residence experiences are positive. I know loads of people who went from not knowing the people they lived with to best friends. Putting people in close quarters will create tension no matter who the people are (it's to be expected), but just because you're living with someone doesn't mean it will be a bad experience.

Take heed to the list of twenty ways I have mentioned to get along with your roommate during the year, and do your best to execute them. I really do think it will help you out. For the upper-year students, feel free to add your own to this list by replying to the post.
  1. Be courteous of sleep time. If you have a roommate that goes to bed at 10PM, they are not going to appreciate you having five friends come over at midnight. If your roommate is sleeping, be social someplace else.
    _
  2. Be courteous of study time. If your roommate is trying to study try and be as quiet as possible. Donít blast your music, have social calls etc.
    _
  3. Try and get to know them. They may be from a totally different city/province/country etc than you. Maybe their experiences in life can teach you more about the world around you and the people in it.
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  4. Invite them to go places with you. If youíre hungry, maybe theyíre hungry too.
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  5. Ask about things you should know about them. Maybe they have a serious food allergy and canít come into contact with certain things. Perhaps they are scent-sensitive and canít take perfume. You could inadvertently do something that is really harmful to their health without even knowing it.
    _
  6. Ask before you have guests stay the night. Maybe they are uncomfortable with the thought of you sharing your bed with someone, and donít want to be around when it occurs.
    _
  7. Donít talk on the phone loudly past 11PM (or a time arranged between you). There is nothing worse than being woken up because someone is having a conversation.
    _
  8. Try to limit talk in other languages. I realize that not everyone may have English or French as their first language. But speaking in a language that your roommate canít understand is really hard and makes them feel incredibly awkward and left out.
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  9. Keep your part of the room separate from theirs. You may be a messy person, who is fine with clothes all over the place. Your roommate may not be cool with this, so donít force your mess on their space.
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  10. Make sure your roommate has their key if you are leaving and locking the room. There is nothing worse than paying for a lockout (up to $20 each time!) because your roommate locked you out.
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  11. Do not try to use peer pressure. Your roommate may not want to do whatever it is youíre doing. Ask them, and if they decline say the option to participate is open if they wish to do so. Forcing someone into something can cause resentment.
    _
  12. Do not take things without asking. This seems obvious, but if you really want to borrow something (like their clothes), ask first.
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  13. Respect other peoplesí boundaries and opinions. You may be okay with drinking underage and premarital sex. They may not. Accept that their opinion is different than your own and that is okay.
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  14. You may have become friends with people from other floors/faculties/buildings/off-campus. If youíre doing something social with them, invite them along. There is no harm in making more friends.
    _
  15. If you have a qualm with something that your roommate is dong, address them in a respectful way. Do not let the problem escalate as that can make everything worse. If you donít know how to handle it, talk to a CA.
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  16. If youíre going to have a party in your room, make sure your roommate is okay with that.
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  17. Learn to compromise. Living with others can be very difficult. You can not get your way all of the time, but if you learn to compromise things will work out better for everyone.
    _
  18. Clean up after yourself. This is especially for students living in Keyes or Bates (MKB BAM!). Wash your dishes, clean up crumbs and messes in a timely manner. You may not be able to do it right away, but anything beyond 24 hours is ridiculous.
    _
  19. Create a cleaning schedule. This is again mostly for people in MKB (BAM!); as they have kitchens and bathrooms that they look after. Abide by said schedule, and donít make excuses. If you have time for TV/ being social/Facebook/MacInsiders etc you have time to clean.
    _
  20. Use inclusive language. Donít use phrases such as ďthatís gayĒ or ďtheyíre retardedĒ. At McMaster there is special care taken to make sure no one is ostracized based on creed, religion, nationality, sexual preference, gender, or ability. Being disrespectful is not tolerated.
Again, like my previous list, this one is not exhaustive. If anyone has more tips, create a thread about it and we can share them together.

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Old 08-13-2007 at 06:19 PM   #2
lorend
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looks good to me!

post away. and, thanks so much.
Old 08-22-2007 at 09:55 AM   #3
lorend
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how come we haven't put this one up yet, out of curiosity?
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Old 08-24-2007 at 10:49 AM   #4
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Just giving a good separation between res articles
Old 08-24-2007 at 08:07 PM   #5
lorend
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Ohhhh I see.
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McMaster Combined Honours Cultural Studies & Critical Theory and Anthropology: 2008
McMaster Honours English with a minor in Indigenous Studies: 2010
Carleton University Masters of Arts in Canadian Studies: 2012 (expected)

We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed in universities, looking uncomfortably into the world we inherit. -- Port Huron Statement






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