For students of all experiences at IMSA, one of the most important factors in harmonizing daily routines and shaping unforgettable memories on campus is having an enjoyable roommate experience. For the students who have preselected roommates, pulling this off can be simpler than those who were randomly assigned roommates – but regardless, this should not hold back roommate pairs or quads from having a fun time at IMSA. Here are some of the strongest tips for building and maintaining a solid bond with your roommate.
When it comes to sharing a dorm only about 200 sqft large with another person, it is important to manage space efficiently and respect each other’s personal space. For space management, there are diagrams on the IMSA website that showcase a few ideal setups so that students can feel cozy. Establishing a good room layout could also mean agreeing to certain things like decorative lighting, so communication is key to sorting out these details effectively. Once the room is set up in a way where everyone feels satisfied, roommates should be aware of each other’s personal space to help everyone feel secure. This means keeping away from a roommate’s belongings and not invading their spaces such as desks, beds, or storage. Showing respect for a roommate in this regard often prevents and resolves many conflicts and maintains a trustworthy relationship.
When room arrangements and boundaries are understood, the last point to be addressed is maintenance. It is important to maintain a good level of cleanliness especially when sharing out of respect for both the people and the living quarters. Chores aren’t the most amusing work, but they are important to stay healthy and feel clean in the room, so there is no value in putting them off and living in unpleasant conditions. Unlike at home, there may not be enough time for IMSA students to keep their rooms entirely spotless, but there are many ways to keep rooms and roommates refreshed. One approach to chores is to split and alternate chores for roommates. This method builds coordination between roommates, as they will become efficient with following a schedule together and avoid distributing issues. Managing the dorm efficiently can often support roommates incredibly, and paired with sound communication, make arguments far less impactful to their relationships.
In a roommate relationship, communication is primarily what will determine the outcomes of conflicts and steer clear of future disagreements. If direct conflicts arise between roommates, they could know the source of the issue and approach the situation in many ways. If a roommate ever decides they need help from a third party, they are encouraged to ask a friend, RSL, or an RC for a healthy solution for both roommates. If they feel they can handle things in a more direct fashion, they can do so through a few steps involving the timing, language tone, and understanding the right theme to follow. Setting the right time, staying calm and respectful, and focusing on future prospects can all help lighten the mood as well as avoid escalation of a conflict. This mature approach ensures that roommates will avoid increasing tension during disagreements.
Communication also means showing support in the right ways and being flexible with timings or habits. For example, a roommate may have very different morning routines and timings from another which can lead to hasty mornings – to accommodate for this, roommates should discuss ways to schedule their mornings so they can both get ready on time. Similarly to setting a chore schedule, being confident in routines can nurture a smoother experience for roommates.
Roommates aren’t typically going to have all the same classes, teachers, or extracurriculars, so it is understandable that they may have differing work schedules. It is the responsibility of each roommate to respect the other’s allotted time for working, as this is when they want to be the most productive. A roommate should also respect that time by not bothering the other with excessive noise or disruption. Treating a busy roommate with the same consideration as one treats their wing during the night can heavily benefit productivity. When both roommates are available, they can spend some time together and with other friends through sports, games, relaxing, or other means. There are a multitude of ways to spend time together and learn about each other, while also staying productive and successful in years at IMSA. Building a successful roommate relationship often takes time, but equipped with these tips for building strong communication and creating a comfortable environment, students can find so much more success in rooming this year at IMSA. Best of luck to all the roommates in staying productive and creating memories!