This weeks topic was inspired by a comment left on my last post in this series “What’s in My Backpack?”. One of my readers, VelandéDeBeauté, asked how to deal with “roommates, other classmates, seniors, etc.?” I am positive that many incoming freshman have the same question. I am here to provide with you as much advice as I can about this topic. Let’s get started!
College is one of the first times a person typically encounters having to live with someone else besides family members. It is a fun and scary time. After spending 2 years living in the residence halls, I have had my fair share of roommate experiences. I have had two roommates who had very different personalities. One was a party girl who came into the room at 4 AM, while the other one was a quiet member of the marching band who went to bed at 10 PM. Learning to live with both them took some time and understanding their personalities.
Here are my top 3 tips:
1)If you are given a roommate contract, take it seriously. A roommate contract is a promise that holds roommates responsible for respecting each other. It can cover a wide variety of topics such as religion, bed times, visiting hours, sharing, etc. I promise that it will help resolve issues with your roommate when the tensions are running high in the 10×10 room. Bring out the roommate contract every couple of months and read over it with your roommate. Revise the roommate contract if necessary.
2) I will stress that communication is key when living with someone else. If you have an issue that needs resolving, please politely confront your roommate. Any issues that cannot seem to be resolved should be communicated to your RA for further advice. One book that helped me tremendously before starting my freshman year was The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen. While the title may be seem strange, the book covers a wide variety of issues someone may be faced with when living with a roommate and how to deal with it. The subject of roommates will have its own post because it is one of the most complicated subject matters that I will cover in my series.
3) Give your new roommate a chance. When you initially meet your roommate, you may not be thrilled to spend the next two semesters sleeping only feet away from them. Get to know your roommate by grabbing lunch with them at the dining hall or exploring the campus.
As classes begin, you will encounter many different types of students. In one seat, there will be the typical college student who just graduated from high school and is roughly 18 years old. In the other seat, there might be a student who is 40 years old and attending school part time while taking care of their family. Sometimes a senior might be taking a basic mandatory class their last year with all the new freshman. There might even be military veterans attending college for the first time. The possibilities are endless on the types of people you will meet in the college classroom.
My advice for incoming freshman nervous about classmates is to just be friendly and be yourself to everyone you meet. The seniors in college are not like the seniors in high school – they honestly do not care that you are a freshman. In the majority of my classes, I do not really have time to talk and socialize with my classmates. Unlike high school, there is not much time to socialize before or after class. I focus my energy on paying attention in class. However, some classes have study groups that allow you to meet classmates and bond with them by studying for the upcoming exam.
If you are worried about making friends, do not fret – you are in the perfect environment for making friends. College provides plenty of opportunities. Attend an organization fair to find an organization that appeals to your interests. Sign up for an intramural sports team such as softball or Quidditch. (Yes this is a very real college intramural sport!) Rush a fraternity or sorority. Get a job working at your college’s radio station. Join an organization related to your major to find more like minded students. The best way to make friends is to get involved.
Professors are one of the best – and worst – parts of college. Professors can make the difference between passing or failing a class. Building strong relationships with professors is crucial. One of the best ways to get to know your professors is to attend their office hours, even if it is just to introduce yourself and ask a few questions about the course. Professors enjoy having a name to a face.
A few semesters ago, I was struggling in a class and needed some extra help. I showed up at my professor’s weekly office hours and it truly helped me understand the material better. This student and professor relationship allows me to use her as a professional reference.
If you took the time to read that lengthy post – thank you so much! I appreciate it. If you are an incoming college freshman who needs some advice, please let me know! I will help you in any way possible. Just contact me at one of the links provided below. Thank you again lovelies!
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