Living off-campus means a whole new lifestyle unimaginable to those living with Mom and Dad or even the dorms. But there is one thing I think we all can agree merits a big sigh of relief: choosing a roommate. For the first time picking a roommate can depend on compatibility and friendship rather then family or random assignment. So obviously this means no more drama and nonstop fun… right?
For sophomore Connor Doscher this is exactly the case. Doscher said he is
living in a two person apartment with his best friend, Nate Schlack and life couldn’t be better.
“Nate and I are best friends and we spend all our time together anyway,” Doscher said. “This is honestly just more convenient.”
Doscher said its easy to confront his roommate with any issues he is having because they are so close. Fortunately for them, it never comes to that, he said, because they have very similar living habits.
“I’m not about to get mad at Nate for a mess he’s making when I’m working on my own on the other side of the room,” Doscher said. Logic at it’s finest.
Here is a link to some fun things you and your roommate can do to bond!
On the other hand, many times living with friends can be difficult. Choosing to remain anonymous to avoid further drama, an unnamed source says her and her roommates’ friendship is suffering.
“We’re good friends but spending all this time right on top of each other is creating tension,” she said. “We are constantly fighting about the stupidest little things, its exhausting.”
That being said, Sophomore Meaghan Manghera thinks its still better than living with random roommates in the dorms. She had a pretty bad experience.
“The main issue my roommates and I faced last year in the dorms was the fact that we all had completely different lifestyles,” she said. “We all ate, slept, studied at different times of the day and unfortunately not all of us knew how to compromise.”
She said she tried to spend as little time as possible in the room but eventually she had to approach her roommate.
“One of the roommates and myself tried to approach and talk to the other roommate about room etiquette, like maybe using a desk lamp so we could turn the lights off at a reasonable time, and even tried to compromise but it never really got anywhere,” Manghera said. “We’d talk about it and say the changes were okay, but never really followed through.”
Manghera said she doesn’t know what else she could’ve done to fix it.
Doctoral Intern Betsy Lindeland works at Cal Poly’s counseling services. She says she helps mediate situations for roommates living on and off campus.
“On-campus first-years aren’t living with friends or people they know so there are a lot of issues that arise from that,” she said. Off-campus roommate issues generally stem from their existing friendship.
Lindeland said these are a few good tips on the best way to absolve roommate situations.
“Its about teaching people how to approach their roommates and friends in a way that’s not threatening or judgmental,” she said.
- Avoid passive aggression
- Respond to situations reasonably
- Keep an open mind
- Effective communication is key
Here is a link to some more useful tips on how to make your living situation work.
Although living with a friend can be tons of fun, it doesn’t always completely eliminate drama.
“When you’re living with a friend you want more than just a roommate and things can get complicated in that sense,” Lindeland said.
Even so, getting to live with a friend is still an amazing experience, so get stoked and choose wisely.