The life you lead while under your parents care, from elementary school through college, is an extended version of the lesson taught early on: “Life is not fair.” Learning to deal with a roommate you can’t stand is just another aspect of this very old lesson. When you go to college you’re likely to be put in a dorm, or perhaps an apartment, with someone you’ve never met. There are certain things you’ll do that will infuriate your roommate, and there will be times too when you’ll want to kill your roommate. I recommend a more relaxed approach to roommate life, one that leaves you both breathing. First, you must remember that for every habit your roommate has, you probably have an equally annoying habit. This is the first step for happy roommate life is to not take anything too seriously or personally. If your roommate complains about the plate of food, just say, “Fair enough, but how about you pick up those clothes?” In other words, for every complaint you have against your roommate, ask yourself if there’s something you’re doing that’s annoying, too.
This not only serves to put your perspective in check, but it also gives you a balance that lets you avoid taking things personally. The next important factor in good roommate life is to be relatively open about yourself. If you are going to live with this person, you should realize that your character traits are going to be revealed.
Privacy is not an option, and the sooner you abandon your own insecurities, the better your experience will be. Not only will this make you seem like a genuine person, but it will also help your roommate to open up and be more responsive to any complaint or request you might have. The subject of music is going to come up, probably on the first day. If you both have loud, powerful stereos, this problem will be inflated. There’s no easy way to resolve differences in musical taste because some people simply don’t have any taste at all. For this, you must realize again what your mother and father told you all those years ago.
If you can’t stand the music your roommate is playing, you can ask him or her to turn it down or off under these conditions only: it’s very late and you have to get to class early, you’re trying to study for a test you have the next day or you have a member of the opposite sex over. Other than that, you need to just leave the room or deal with it. Again, don’t take things personally – it’s not the end of the world.
Finally, you should not try too hard. You have to live with this person and in doing so you’ll see a lot of them. Relax, kick back and do your thing. Be open and honest with your roommate at all times because for now they’ve got a key to your home. You should come away from dorm life with several new friends, and if you’re lucky enough to include your roommate in that list, it’ll be because you treated them with respect, demanded honesty and partied your butt off together.