TYLER PHELPS AND LEAH POWERS ‘DOAH CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
No one wants to live with a bad roommate who brings someone in your room at 2 a.m., doesn’t have good hygiene and doesn’t respect your belongings. As the semester gets into full swing, roommates begin to show their true colors.
Although it is still early in the year, conflict can spread like wildfire throughout the dorms. Words start flying, and you start to form an everlasting opinion of this person you are supposed to spend these next nine months with.
“My old roommate and I got into it a few times… well more than a few times, and then it just blew up in both of our faces,” said Freshmen Shelby Ellis. With her back against the wall, there was no choice but to go through RA mediation.
“We tried working everything out just between us, but I really had no choice,” Ellis stated. “We talked about our problems with our RA, then it escalated to residence life, and they figured it would just be best if we switched rooms.” Both parties weren’t on the same page, therefore a room switch occurred. However, every time roommates argue they don’t necessarily get to switch. There are certain steps to take before any moving happens.
She now wishes she would have changed a few things. “I would’ve tried to express my feelings sooner,” said Ellis.
These problems happen ev- eryday on campus in America. At Shenandoah University, a 16×9 room sometimes just isn’t big enough to house two egos. But not every situation ends up with hurt feelings and burned bridges. Some lucky roommates just click, and it’s a smooth year for both parties.
“We get along well and we haven’t had a single issue to date,” Freshmen Jacob Newton says about his roommate. According to Newton, the agreement was to set a few base rules from the start and stick with them no matter what.
Even if Newton and his roommate were to come to a disagreement, he confidently states. “We would talk about it beforehand and make sure that we talked everything through before either one of us tried to take action. No need to strike revenge on someone whose toothpaste you may borrow one day.” Conversing about a conflict seems like the most direct way to fix the situation. Simply expressing feelings and emotions on both sides most likely will lead to a quicker solution.
Experiences will likely vary according to the effort put in by both parties. Resident Assistants are commonly called upon to keep the peace between roommates. Junior Ryan Parker, head RA for Racey Hall, has had plenty of experiences with roommate problems.
“Complaints can range anywhere from roommates being sick of each other, to people not getting along with their neighbors.” Parker attributes many of these problems to a lack of effort or sometimes even unwillingness to compromise.
Any two people who sleep in the same room, share some of the same food and have to listen to each other’s problems for nine months are bound to run into some sort of problem. This is many students’ first experience living with someone not being a guardian. This experience is great because it really gives students a chance to interact with other people other than their family, which teaches social skills. Students grow tremendously living in dorms because of the amount of freedom, independence and responsibility of school.
Ryan Parker stresses the importance of communication stating, “Communication is the most important, and most people don’t get along because they don’t ever say what’s bothering them.”
No matter what, living in a dorm is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and being social and communicating with one’s roommate will make the experience way more enjoyable.