Live And Learn

Living with new people in an apartment or dorm is an education in maintaining friendly relations. With about three years of living with various roommates and housemates, I can attest that there is an art to co-inhabiting a space and knowing social boundaries.

Being with a roommate is bound to affect some of your habits and how comfortable you are doing your activities in the same room. For instance, if you are less energetic than your roommate and he or she requires constant stimulation, such as music or TV playing, this might wear on your patience and ability to concentrate on studies, especially if you resist confronting the issue in fear of compromising their routine.  Similarly, light sleepers may be sensitive to slight sounds and lights; if a roommate does not regularly respect her sensory issues, insomnia and lack of sleep could affect abilities to retain and understand information in the classroom.

If you have lived in a rental room within a house, your freedom may be limited by how comfortable you are being yourself with others. If your eagerness to learn singing started when you moved in, chances are you may hesitate to start loud-pitched vocals during certain periods, or at all, if your confidence becomes stifled by hesitation in fear of being judged or listened to.

Other than fear of judgment, an issue of cleanliness baffles people who hold different standards. Cleaning the dishes after every use, so overflowing stacks resembling a culinary Leaning Tower of Pisa don’t collect, may seem necessary for some and arbitrary for others. When dust bunnies collect and spread like tumbleweed across the hall, who cleans it if it doesn’t bother others? Maybe cleaning the bathrooms is done as-needed, but who argues when scrubbing a month’s neglected toilet and tub falls onto one person?

There are also many positives to gain from living with different personalities. Learning to be flexible with when you can blast your favorite music and resolving household issues is a great learning experience outside of the classroom. You may acquire lifelong friendships or find a romantic partner whom you wouldn’t have met otherwise. This is also a step toward life after college, when you will have to interact with people of many differences in the business and interpersonal world. Expanding knowledge of yourself through interactions which may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar may pay off big in the long term, and as college students, we are here to make a profit in the long term: this may satisfy a more enriching social life.