Tag Archives: communication

Respectful Communication is Key

For most of us in college, we tend to avoid talking with our professors and instructors for one reason or another. And they don’t usually have conversations with us unless we directly approach them. For some, talking to an instructor is no big deal, but for others, it can be frightening, anxiety inducing or anywhere in between. Whatever the case, it’s important for both the instructor and the student to maintain a respectful manner.

If either the student or the instructor becomes disrespectful toward one another then major issues can arise. There does not always need to be blatant disrespect or animosity to cause problems in the classroom. Passive aggressive remarks or responses can create

Teacher talking with young student in the classroom
“For some, talking to an instructor is no big deal, but for others, it can be frightening, anxiety inducing or anywhere in between.” Photo from: http://cdn.hercampus.com/s3fs-public/2014/09/28/Student-Professor-Talking-Office-Hours.jpg

bigger problems than direct hostility. Passive aggressiveness is just pettiness; it shows a flippant attitude and a complete disregard for the other person. A student shouldn’t treat an instructor this way, and an instructor shouldn’t treat a student that way either. Doing so opens up hostility between the two people involved and the situation can, and often does, dissolve from there.

If an instructor is disrespectful toward a student then they have failed as a teacher; it is their job to be patient, and they should be willing to work with students to help them understand the material. It does not benefit anyone if an instructor disregards a student’s questions or concerns. And it’s just the same for the student; they have to be willing to meet the instructor halfway. They should make sure they try to resolve their problem or misunderstanding before approaching the instructor, so they don’t waste their time. However, they also run the risk of being seen as lazy for not approaching the instructor early on. Both the instructor and the student should do their best to maintain a professional and respectful relationship. Otherwise, the entire classroom environment falls apart.

Communication is key

There comes a point in the semester, usually around now, that you may find yourself with tension between you and your roommate or your suitemates, or maybe even both.

Maybe you’re having space issues, leaving things where they don’t belong, or having stuff creep over the imaginary line that separates your sides. Maybe there are issues with sharing the bathroom.

You can’t agree on cleaning, or do not have a consistent shower schedule. There may be an issue giving fair warning about guests coming over, and said guests of the opposite gender walking into the bathroom at the most inconvenient moments.

You may think the best way to handle these issues is by quietly tiptoeing around them or venting to friends and hoping they go away. While these may help you avoid them for the first little bit, you cannot survive the rest of the semester, let alone the year, doing so.

The best way to work through these is through clear communication. It may seem stereotypical, but communication really is key in any situation when you are dealing with people in relationships, interactions, and especially in close living quarters.

It may seem awkward at first, but don’t be afraid to sit down your roommate or suitemates (maybe everyone if you need to), and start a clear line of communication.

Be sure to get all of your issues out in the open, and be sure to clearly state why it may bother you, and then come up with helpful tips and ways to make it better. Whether it be giving more of a heads-up when significant others are coming for a weekend, being a little quieter, cleaning up more often or helping with the cleaning, working out an efficient shower schedule, or just agreeing to talk and be more open with each other with problems, talking and effectively communicating will only make it easier.

Trust me, this will help tremendously, and it’ll dispel any tension that may have started to build or help avoid any from forming.

Remember that there are probably things that you do that irritate them as well, so be open to suggestions yourself. This may help you create a more relaxed, tension-free living space!

Take out the trash!

If you’re a student at Radford it’s likely you have a roommate. Maybe you two get along, maybe you hate each other’s guts. You might feel like you’re in hell or maybe you’ll have a friendship better than you had with your imaginary friend Bob back in Kindergarten. Whatever the case you’re going to be living with somebody and you’ll have to appeal to their needs as well as yours. After all everyone has their own weird quirks. I, for example, can’t stand the smell of seafood and have to Febreeze the kitchen like I’m trying to hide the smell of a dead body. Nobody appreciates that, but people just have to learn to live with it. They deal with my issues and I deal with theirs, that’s when we have an ideal roommate relationship. Ideally, everyone would do their own dishes and pick up their own trash. Maybe you shouldn’t get loud and drunk every Tuesday night because you know someone you live with has an 8 am class the next day. We’d live happily ever after, only without the handsome prince.

“Well for starters I’ll tell you what not to do. Don’t lock yourself in your room and avoid these problems. They aren’t going to get better.” Photo of: Dylan Butler. Photo by: Danielle Johnson.
“Well for starters I’ll tell you what not to do. Don’t lock yourself in your room and avoid these problems. They aren’t going to get better.” Photo of: Dylan Butler. Photo by: Danielle Johnson.

What do you do if nobody is willing to cooperate? Maybe they consider cooperation to be “communist” or maybe they just plain don’t want to help with anything?What if you really want to make that fairy tale ending happen?

Well for starters I’ll tell you what not to do. Don’t lock yourself in your room and avoid these problems. They aren’t going to get better. For example, if your roommate never does the dishes and your solution is just to ignore it, the dishes are just going to keep piling up and your problems are never going to be fixed. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. Also don’t try the passive aggressive approach, writing “take out the trash” on a piece of paper and hanging it on the fridge is just going to piss people off. Soon the lot of you will be at each other’s throats like an old married couple.

The solution is really simple; just talk to your roommates. If someone is on the TV when you wanted to watch Joel Osteen you probably should’ve told someone you wanted to watch it in advance and reserve the TV for yourself. You should also consider the fact that nobody you live with likely appreciates you blasting Joel Osteen in the living room. But you never know unless you talk about your issues with those you live with. Because when it comes down to it, you’re living with these people. You have to fix issues you have with each other together.

Things aren’t always perfect, and living with the same people and seeing them every day might eventually get to you. Now and then, you should just get out of the house. Maybe hang out with a friend somewhere else, or go out of town. But staying cooped up at home all day is going to inevitably get to you. You have to confront your problems at some point. So if you have a problem with your roommates, have a talk with them. Otherwise, things won’t change.


Tripled dorms and how to survive them

The RU Class of 2018 has been faced with a unique problem for their first year of college: a great deal of them are living in dorms that hold more people than they’re meant to. Due to the closure of multiple residence halls that are typically used to house incoming freshmen, many students are finding themselves sharing limited space with two roommates rather than the usual one.

With this new arrangement comes a new host of problems that the new students may not be accustomed to facing; they are now given much less space than anticipated. However, being in a bad situation doesn’t equate to being in an unmanageable one, and there are multiple ways to make living in a tripled dorm much easier for you and your roommates.

triple dorms
“Due to the closure of multiple residence halls that are typically used to house incoming freshmen, many students are finding themselves sharing limited space with two roommates rather than the usual one.”

Time management in the mornings can be a big issue that leads to a lot of unnecessary stress for roommates if it’s not done well. Coordinating schedules with your roommates and being considerate during your morning routines is key to making sure that everything runs smoothly during your time together. This means limiting your showers to five minutes or less, and being efficient so that you’re not blocking the bathroom when others may need it. The fact that you could very well be sharing a bathroom with another tripled dorm means that this is one of the most important steps to making sure that everyone makes it out of the residence halls alive, or at least on time for class.

Living with two other people in the same room is also going to mean being more considerate and adaptive when it comes to the lifestyles of your roommates. If you know that you like to stay up late when your roommates would rather be sleeping or studying, then you may need to find friends in another dorm that have a routine more similar to yours. This way, you can go out and socialize, leaving your roommates to study. However, if you are the lone bookworm while your other two roommates would rather hang out in the dorm together, then you can’t allow yourself to be angry at them. Instead, move to Young, the 24-hour study hall, and work there in silence.

While a majority of the freshmen who have been assigned a tripled dorm are understandably upset with the situation, I hope you realize that it’s entirely manageable, and that it won’t ruin your college experience if you go about it the right way. Just be considerate, and your roommates will most likely return the favor. If you don’t enjoy the cramped space, then good news: college has the most options you’ll ever have in your life to go out and be social. Freshman year can still be one of the best years of your life, you just have to go about it the right way.

A short temper for longboarders

Like most students who live on or around campus, I walk to each of my classes. However, there’s another breed of people who don’t — the longboarders and skateboarders. I don’t know about you, but nothing bothers me more when a boarder comes riding up behind me and comes a little too close to either hitting me or running over my feet.

Continue reading A short temper for longboarders

From our perspective: Our generation needs to improve their communication skills

“Wut r u up 2?” “Chillin. U?” “Me 2.” Srsly?

Our generation is by far one of the smartest and most privileged to date. Yet we’re completely inept when it comes to communicating with one another. It’s so simple to prove; just walk around campus. There are thousands of students milling around with their noses in their phones, paying no attention to their surroundings.

The staff at Whim thinks it’s become a bit of a problem. Most college students are supposed to be super social creatures (haven’t you seen “Animal House”?) and we are. Kind of. College students average 12 hours a day with some sort of media outlet, be it Facebook, Twitter or cellphones.

Kathleen Bigelow on the phone. Photo by Austin Tuley.

What that’s saying is we’ll tweet you but we won’t talk to you in person. One of the funniest things to do is to watch the social interactions in Starbucks. Most of these people know each other since it’s a pretty small campus, but they rarely talk to each other for long. There’s an awkward greeting and then the phone comes out. Our ability to create small talk is gone.

We’ve all committed these communication crimes. We all have Facebook friends we’ve met a few times, but when you see each other in public you don’t even acknowledge them. Honestly, it’s a bit embarrassing. We almost create these alternate lives.

Ariel Long on the phone. Photo by Brian Hollingsworth.

It’s not even just our inability to have a decent conversation. You don’t even need gumption or guts to stand up to someone anymore. Just a few years ago fighting via text message was frowned upon. Now, it’s a daily habit. Heck, some Whim staffers have probably been feuding with their boyfriends or roommates during our budget meetings!

This is just one way technology is changing our entire culture. We used to value confidence and quick thinking. Now during an argument or debate, you have plenty of time to think of what to say. You don’t even have to answer. This certain anonymity makes a person braver than usual.

If this continues to happen, what else is going to become socially acceptable? We can slowly see it happening — entire romantic relationships can begin and end with a text message. And we’re beginning to think this is OK.

Technology is a great thing and brings people together in ways that have never been achieved before. But we’re beginning to believe it’s being used too often to mask how we really feel or to do emotionally difficult things for us. Who knows, we might be hearing about a marriage proposal text message soon.

Communication Breakdown

Some people will only converse on an online chat   Photo from:http://cdn-viper.demandvideo.com

Our generation is jam packed with ways to get in touch with each other at any point in time. You would think this would make us better communicators. I would hardly agree.

AOL Instant Messenger     Photo from: http://www.quicksprout.com

It dawned on me when I was having trouble with my AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) last year. I felt like I was about to have a nervous breakdown because it would not let me log on to my buddy list. This lasted for a couple of days. During one of these days I discovered AIM Express, which is a version of AIM that works off of your browser.

The problem with all of this is that I could have used either of my two e-mail addresses, Facebook, Myspace, Skype or even my cell phone if I really wanted to talk to my friends that badly. It would have saved me a whole bunch of stress if I had thought that maybe these routes of communication were just as useful.
Honestly, our generation has grown up with the ability to be picky about who we talk to, how frequently and through what medium. Our more distant friends can be reached every now and then through e-mail, our close friends through Facebook and AIM, our very close friends through webcam and our loved ones on the phone. Each person in our life has their own level of communication attached to them, and it becomes difficult to talk to them if the prescribed form of communication is unavailable to us.

People talking on Skype     Photo from: http://www.tigerprises.com
People talking on webcams Photos from: http://cdn-viper.demandvideo.com http://www.tigerprises.com http://www.quicksprout.com

I know this is true due to the fact that some of my friends cannot handle a simple phone call. My best female friend back home prefers to use either AIM or text messaging. Personally, I see text messaging as a necessary evil. It is perfectly acceptable for some things, but not something I am willing to use for a full blown conversation. I only get 200 text messages a month. When my friends try to use it as a way to plan group events or chat with me I usually end up calling them, only to have my call rejected. They do this because they do not have the time and are not in the position to have a spoken conversation and they probably should not be texting me in the first place.

Dependence on e-mail is also a frustrating part of living in these times. Students all have to face the reality that when they enter college they are going to be checking their e-mail about 10 to 20 times a day. If they do not, then they are most likely going to miss something important, which when working in a group situation can throw a bunch of other people off. It is almost ridiculous how much we have to rely on this route of communication, but for a university it is the most ideal way to get information out to a large number of people quickly.

It is saddening how much the times have changed our most preferred modes of communication. There is no doubt that many people would rather speak through a computer than to another person