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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Avoiding roommate woes

Dirk Dodge, left, and Zachary McKeever, right, residents of Gila Residence Hall, study together in their room. Many students say that strong communication with their roommates makes the dorm experience a positive one.
Dirk Dodge, left, and Zachary McKeever, right, residents of Gila Residence Hall, study together in their room. Many students say that strong communication with their roommates makes the dorm experience a positive one.

While living with another person can pose serious challenges for college newcomers, there are certain things to keep in mind that can mitigate tension between first-year roommates. UA students and alumni offer some helpful advice. 

Former UA student Christie Kirk feels that communication is everything. She said that sometimes freshmen, being new to college, might not want to confront their roommate or give them a reason not to like them.

“”Sometimes it’s easier to communicate through notes than face to face,”” Kirk said.

Kirk said one of the most helpful things she and her roommate did was purchase a dry erase board.  They would post messages about groceries, establish a cleaning day and tell each other things through notes that would help them understand what the other person wanted or needed.

Psychology and East Asian studies senior Sam Bobertz feels that when a person is choosing someone to live with, best friends do not always make the best roommates.

Bobertz thinks it is important to really examine your likes and dislikes before deciding on a roommate.

“”If there are little things, maybe your pet peeves and stuff like that would, in the long run, get under your skin, that’s a risk you’re gonna take,”” Bobertz said.

He also said it’s important to be in tune with the other person and make sacrifices, and that in a roommate relationship there should be give and take.

General business administration and music senior Andrea Jameson experienced a roommate who was not quite as considerate as she would have preferred.

“”The most important thing is to respect your roommate’s privacy.  Not just bedroom privacy, but if they’re watching TV when you walk in, don’t take over,”” Jameson said.

Jameson didn’t always want to be around her roommate, who unfortunately would assume she wanted the company.

“”I like to be around people, but I like to have my own time by myself,”” Jameson said.

Another aspect Jameson emphasized was cleaning. She said it is important to not assume someone is going to clean up after you.

“”It’s amazing how people think if you leave something in the sink, the dish fairy will come and clean it,”” she said.

Public administration sophomore Bayleigh Butterbrodt feels that filling out a roommate agreement form as if you were not friends with your potential roommate will help implement rules in case of any falling outs.

Butterbrodt said that in the first week of living in the dorms, the forms are mandatory and must be presented to the resident assistant, so that both roommates understand the rules and agree. 

When facing a difficult roommate, Butterbrodt attempted confronting her.

“”I would try and talk to her about it. When that didn’t work, I just kept to myself, kept my side picked up, and I was quiet. Usually talking out a situation helps, but in my case, moving out made it a lot easier,”” Butterbrodt said.

After dealing with several exasperating traits, Butterbrodt was ready for a change, but her roommate beat her to it when she asked to move out.

UA alumna Emily Kerns learned a lesson her freshman year, as she witnessed her roommate get married the first semester and divorced the second semester.

“”Moral of the story is do not get married while you are living in the dorms,”” Kerns said.

Mutual respect, privacy and consideration were some of the most valued traits in a roommate for these current and former students.

Random roommates with whom the UA pairs you might make the first year of college better.

“”It’s a great way to meet new people,”” Butterbrodt said.

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