How to overcome the struggles of dorm living

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As the semester races toward finals, many self-realizations are made.

Stress is setting in, your bank account is low and the roommate match “made-in-heaven” isn’t all it was cracked up to be.

For many of us, this is the first time we have to share a living space with someone, let alone someone we barely know.

Making the effort to fix your situation and do what is best for you is the first step in relieving unwanted stress caused by an unhealthy roommate matchup.

There is bound to be anger and annoyance during conflict and anxiety, along with unresolved tension, but there are sure-fire ways to rise above and conquer a living situation that feels unsolvable.

Communication is the key to most problems:

I cannot express enough that communication is key to solving most problems roommates face.

The cliché “you ate my food” or “you were to loud when you came home last night” can usually be solved by sitting down and expressing the issue at hand.

If it all works out you can get to the root of a problem in the healthiest way possible. Unfiltered communication is key.

Making effort to communicate your thoughts clearly and politely, as soon as possible is the first step in moving past conflict.

Surround yourself with people who balance you out

From my own personal experience with roommate issues, I know you have to admit your own faults to be able to expect others to admit theirs.

I am not saying it is always as simple as that, but you have to start with yourself before you can the same from others.

Ask your CA or RHD — it’s their job:

As a freshman, approaching your community assistant or residence hall director can be a daunting task.

An overwhelming fear of being a bother can be hard to handle, but I feel as if many of us forget the CA’s/RHD’s job is to play a part in making our transitions from a cozy, private home life to a crowded one at college as smooth as possible.

They can push you toward permanent options to fixing your situation or just give you open ears to talk to and help put you in a better mental state about your situation.

It was a huge relief to me to talk to my CA and vent out my frustrations.

Remind yourself that this is a learning experience, not a struggle

When effort has been put in to no avail it can often become overwhelming.

It can feel like you can’t handle the tensions and awkward silences of putting up with roommate conflicts.

Ultimately, you can’t force someone to fix a problem they don’t want to fix.

Get off campus

If the tension becomes too much and your roommate isn’t budging on solving the conflict and issues, just get off campus for a while.

Whether that is getting out to your favorite coffee shop, or going to a see a movie with your best friend.

Everyone needs a break every now and again.

Take the first step in creating change and change your own mentality.

Oftentimes the best roommates are the ones who are simply capable of being respectful and courteous to one another.

Taking steps to change will help everything fall into place.

Natalie Hilden is a journalism major and can be reached at natalie.hilden@jacks.sdstate.edu.

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