Tag Archives: roommate

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!

Highlanders Anonymous: Who’s to blame?

Highlanders Anonymous: Who’s to blame?

“Why does my roommate always tell me it’s my fault she can’t get her work done? What’s her problem?”

Well, it seems to me like she’s trying to shift the blame on you. By telling you this, she’s not being very specific though and seems like she wants you to ask her what is the problem. I would suggest skipping all of the drama that she is trying to manufacture and confront her.accusation

“I just had a huge acne breakout and I have a date tomorrow. Do you have any tips to clear it up?

Websites like teenvogue.com suggest spot treatment that will help you to dry out pimples and the like. You could also just use makeup to cover up any blemishes you may have. Many sources also suggest the use of products with salicylic ingredients that fight acne. Try to use facial wash and other products the night before to help clear up the acne as quickly as possible. The day of your date is when I would recommend covering up whatever you weren’t able to get rid of. Also, these are short term solutions, but should help lessen the redness and irritation on your skin before the big day!

“What’s the best way to tell someone that their room is disgusting?”

 Well, I don’t think that’s very nice to say at any point to anyone. Lots of people end up with a messy room because it’s hard for them to get organized and can even be a telltale sign of depression. Approach this delicately and if you really want to help this person, you could always offer to lend a hand.

“How do you know when it’s time to move in with someone?”

Well, this isn’t exactly a black and white matter. Some people will give you a specific time frame with certain relationship milestones. Others will tell you that there has to be a certain level of understanding and cooperation between the two of you. However, all of that may not even work in the end, so I suggest the ultimate cliché: follow your heart.

There are no real rules that can tell you when the right time is for you to be emotionally or spiritually ready to cohabitate with another person. All you can do is try and be careful. Be honest with yourself and you’ll know the answer.

The Roommate

This is it. Sophie took a deep breath and unlocked the door to her home for the next year. The hinges creaked loudly, screaming their unwillingness to open. To her surprise, another girl stood barefoot in the middle of the room, as if waiting for her. The other girl was strangely beautiful, with pale smooth skin and long auburn hair held away from her face by a ribbon.

“Are you to live here?, the girl asked, smiling demurely with her head tilted to one side. Sophie slung her backpack onto the ground next to the empty bed.

“Yeah. I guess that makes you my roommate. The RA’s must be a little frazzled today. The one that checked my in said that my roommate hadn’t even arrived yet. My name’s Sophie.”

“Sophie typed the name “Analise” into the online student directory. Nothing came up. She tried multiple variants of the name, figuring she had spelled it wrong. There were still no results.”

The other girl smiled and turned away saying, “I am called Analise.” Analise peeked over her shoulder. “Do you need any help unpacking? I’m pretty good at organizing things.” Sophie pulled a laptop out of her bag and set it on the desk. She plugged the charger into the wall first, and then into the laptop.

“That would be cool. I have a little bit in my car right now. My parents are arriving in a few hours with the rest of it.”

After emptying her backpack completely, Sophie stood and turned back to the girl, who, it seemed, hadn’t moved an inch. Awe man, she thought. I’m gonna be stuck with a weirdo.

“I’m gonna go out to my car and get some of my stuff. I’ll be right back.” Analise ran her hands through her long hair. “I suppose I’ll see you soon,” she answered.

Beginning the long trek back to her car, Sophie began to think. At least this girl seemed nice. Yes, she was odd, but there were worse things to be. Besides, there were so many more aspects of college to be excited about.

It seemed like hours before Sophie returned to the large brick building that was her dorm. Arms aching with the effort it took to carry three duffle bags full of clothing, she managed to open her door without dropping anything.

There was someone else in the dorm.

“Hey! You’re Sophie, right? I’m Angela. Looks like we’re gonna be roomies!” Sophie dropped all three bags in the doorway. Puzzled, she backtracked out the door to double-check the room number. Angela frowned and looked down at her copy of the roommate agreement. “You are Sophie, right? Sorry, I just assumed.”

After double and then triple checking the room number, Sophie slowly walked back inside.

“Yeah, I’m Sophie. I’m sorry. I’m just a little confused. There was another girl in here earlier. I thought she was my roommate.”

Angela’s smile made a quick reappearance. “Nope! That’s me. I can’t even tell you how excited I am!” Sophie smiled. Maybe she wouldn’t be stuck with a weirdo after all.

Later that night, after all of the tearful goodbyes had been said, and all the bags had been unpacked, Sophie sat on her bed, wondering. I bet I could look Analise up in the directory, she thought. The girl wasn’t that bad, and Sophie was beginning to feel a little desperate for a friend.

Sophie typed the name “Analise” into the online student directory. Nothing came up. She tried multiple variants of the name, figuring she had spelled it wrong. There were still no results. Hmmm. As a last resort she typed “Analise Radford University” into Google.

Five different news stories came up. She clicked on the first one, its headline reading, “Analise Whitten- you will be missed”. Sophie quickly skimmed the article, and then froze. She could hear her blood pounding in her ears. At the bottom of the article, which was a student-written obituary, was a picture of Analise Whitten.

It was the same girl she had seen hours ago, down to the auburn curls and bare feet.

A new partner for a new year

College in itself is already a frightening experience for upcoming freshman and adding class, work, clubs and a social life can push some over the edge. But what about your roommate? You will spend roughly nine months with a complete stranger, with the exception of those lucky enough to room with someone they already know.

Having a college roommate is equivalent to being in a relationship and the biggest component is communication. Communication is the key ingredient to all the problems you will have and the sooner students realize that the better their new situation will be.

A relationship requires effective communication between the two parties. We can hope you two will become friends, or at least two people sharing a room for nine months and not killing each other; the choice is yours.

It can’t be said enough times: talking will solve a lot more than remaining silent or sulking like a child. We’re all adults here and are fully capable of communicating our feelings, so don’t sit back and allow your RA to take care of it for you.

The RA will always be there when you need help, but instead of running to them first, try sitting down with your roommate and talking about the issues you have. You would be surprised how efficient this little task can be.

Experience has taught me that ignoring the problem won’t always solve it, and sometimes your roommate will have no idea that there was even a problem. Complaining about your roommate to your friends or residence hall won’t get anything done and can cause more problems to arise. Your best bet is to man up and talk!

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but wouldn’t it be better if you got along?

Manners on campus

I’ve noticed that many college students don’t seem to want to grow up. I realize that this time in a person’s life can be a rough transitional stage from child to responsible adult, but despite this, there is no excuse for causing the people around you discomfort.

One of my pet peeves is that horrible sound men like to make while clearing their throat. It’s not a coughing noise, but more like a sure sign that says, “I’m about to spit out a large amount of phlegm.” I’ve noticed when guys choose to make the throat clearing noise you can hear it from yards away, like an attack on your ears. If you need to clear your throat, it would be considerably better for those around you if you either waited until you’re in the privacy of a bathroom, or manage to cough it up and use a tissue.

Another very important point I would like to make to the student body is that just because you’re living away from home doesn’t mean you should make a complete and utter fool of yourself. This point comes up because of the freshmen living in a certain dorm, which I’m sure are similar to most of the other freshmen, or even the older population. What do I mean by this? I mean that running rampant up and down the halls yelling, giggling and making your neighbors absolutely miserable is not a good way to make friends. The freshmen in my hall drive me bonkers with their disregard for the rest of us who would really like to get our work done in peace.

Speaking of getting work done in peace, here’s a suggestion for roommates. If your roommate is sitting down carefully focusing on a piece of homework for a long period of time, it probably isn’t a good idea to start blabbing on the phone incessantly, and it certainly isn’t nice to try and start a series of very pointless conversations with them in order to lighten the mood. Leaving the room to talk on the phone when your roommate is busy is one of the biggest displays of respect, not trying to start conversation with them when they are busy; it just shows that you’re not selfish.

Also regarding roommates and suite mates: it is not nice to monopolize the bathroom. I have a personal issue with this seeing as my bathroom tends to have a great wall of clothes lining the back of it. The only things that I keep in my bathroom are two towels and some hand soap. Maybe I could keep slightly more if there was any room left, or if my towels didn’t move in unusual ways every couple of days or so. It’s nice to be able to trust the people you share a bathroom with. Being more conscientious about how much space you are taking up is important for anyone who lives with other people.

I want to point out that there are many other things students could work on. These are just a handful of major problems I’ve seen at Radford. Just remember that if you don’t like it when people do certain things, then most other people are probably on your side.

Cover photo by Erin Foley

Story photo by Stockxpert