By Annah Freudenburg, Staff Writer
In lieu of increased roommate conflicts across campus, primarily throughout first-year dorms, the Resident Assistants are offering their advice: they cite communication as the crux of the issue.
According to Trowbridge Resident Assistant Jane Pyeon ’16, common issues between roommates are “always based off of the lack of communication that occurs”.
“Communication is everything,” emphasized RA Abigail Taylor ’16. “Don’t keep it in; don’t let it become worse. When people ignore things, it creates a silent resentment towards each other, and you don’t want that.”
“If you talk to them at the beginning when the problem first comes up, that’s the easiest way to solve it,” RA Tutu Huang ’16 said.
Aside from lack of communication, another common problem comes from sharing a room for the first time. Boundaries – personal and spatial – are tested.
“A lot of people are used to having their own rooms,” said RA Graham Wojtas ’16.
Sometimes a roommate will do something that his or her roommate is uncomfortable with without knowing, such as bringing people back to their room. “If your roommate feels uncomfortable, respect it, and work to compromise with each other,” said Wojtas.
Consider where your roommate is coming from. “Another thing that might happen between two roommates is if you come from a different cultural background,” said Pyeon.
“Since I’m an international student, when I first got here, I thought, ‘Maybe the culture is different,’” said Huang. “You just assume [roommate tension] is a normal [cultural thing] here until you get to the point that you can’t stand it anymore, and that’s when it explodes.”
“It’s always okay to come to us,” said Taylor, “no matter if you think it’s something really small or something really big.”
The best advice that can be given is to communicate and to respect with your roommate. “Say what you need to say, but be courteous,” stressed Pyeon.
“Have a positive attitude, be friendly, smile—that’s the best thing you can do,” added Huang.
“Respect each other, respect each other’s space,” said Wojtas, “and understanding that you’re sharing a room. It’s not just yours.”