With SSTP 2014 less than a week away, you’re about to meet your roommate for the next 5 weeks! Even if you live with a roommate at home, living with a roommate during your academic summer experience will be different than sharing your bedroom with a sibling. Here are a few tips to make sure you live in roommate harmony this summer!
1. Get to know your roommate. This may sound obvious, but you need to get to know the person you’re about to share a fairly small living space with for the next 5 weeks. Even if it feels awkward at first, ask your roommate about their interests, their hometown, their family, or their lab placement. This will be a great way to break the ice and you’ll probably discover a few things you have in common with one another!
2. Establish ground rules. Your RA’s will have a particular set of ground rules for the SSTP program and dorm living, in general; but you and your roommate will also have a few ground rules you’ll want to establish for your room like; How tidy will you keep your room? Will you and your roommate share items (clothes, laptop, food, etc.)? What are your sleep habits? Are you a night owl or an early riser?
3. Talk about the things that bug you. Talking about the little things that bug you along the way will help to ensure that little differences don’t morph into larger disagreements. When something comes up be respectful and speak with your roommate about it right away. Never, under any circumstances, speak about a roommate problem behind your roommate’s back. If you’re uncomfortable having the conversation 1-on-1 with your roommate, enlist an RA’s help . . . that’s what they’re there for!
4. Be flexible and compromise as much as possible. Living with someone you’ve just met with be an adjustment for everyone in SSTP. Keep in mind that you and your roommate are learning how to live together. Things may shift as the summer goes on, and as things arise address situations with an open mind and be flexible to change!