Now that we are a month or so into the semester – we at UCP are wondering how your college student’s living situation is going? This is usually a major source of anxiety during each year that your child goes off to school. Even if they are friends with their roommate(s) that doesn’t always translate into a good living situation. So many of our kids are used to having their own room, so the idea of sharing a room or a bathroom with other people may be unsettling. Just like learning to share toys in preschool or kindergarten was a growing experience, so is learning to share a living space with a virtual stranger.
So what is your kid’s expectation of their living situation? Your child should keep in mind that you don’t have to be great friends with a person to be great roommates. But, most kids would like to be friends, maybe not best friends, but at least friendly enough to grab a bite or walk to the library. Knowing their roommate ahead of time isn’t a guarantee that it will work out. Living together certainly reveals more about a person than a typical friendship.
As the year progresses, a roommate might reveal certain traits that make living together difficult. Living together takes compromise from both people. Respect is a big part of a successful living arrangement. Your roommate should not touch or borrow your stuff without asking. Your roommate should be quiet when you are trying to sleep or study. Do you expect to study in your room or are you one of those people who studies elsewhere and comes back to the room to relax and blow off steam? Do you want your room to be a gathering place for others or a quiet place of privacy? So many roommate conflicts are just that; lifestyle conflicts. But the bottom line is that your college student’s living space should feel safe, like home.