Getting along with your roommate is always a top concern for first year students. After all, college is one of the few (if only) times that you will live in a very small space with someone you don't know too well. And if a conflict does arise, here's how we suggest handling it:
1. Sit down with your roommate to discuss the issue and listen to what he/she has to say. Try to work together to find a solution. It is best to attempt to "nip it in the bud" before complaining to other students -- and don't broadcast it on Facebook!
2. If the conflict doesn't get resolved in this first discussion, take a time out. Go for a walk or vent to a family member. Then, try again to sit down with your roommate.
3. If you can't resolve the conflict together, schedule a time to talk with your Resident Assistant (RA). RAs are trained to help students resolve roommate conflicts and they are very supportive.
We've all been there. Justin remembers resolving a conflict when he was a freshman and on the crew time. His roommate would continuously return to the dorm loudly between 2am and 4am, and Justine had to wake up at 5am every day for practice. So, Justin attempted to discuss this issue with his roommate, but the conflict was not easily resolved. Especially since his roommate said: "Crew isn't a real sport anyway!"
To clear the air, Justin decided to offer the "Great Crew Team Challenge." If the roommate thought the crew team was such a joke -- try it for two weeks and if he could last, Justin would move out. The challenge worked: his roommate became a dedicated member of the team.
While you and your roommate may not have a "Great Crew Team Challenge" of your own, figuring out how to live together, and perhaps be friends, is a very important part of your first year experience. Know of any other roommate conflict solutions that have worked for you or your friends? Comment below!