During the first week of classes at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, upperclassmen of the offered their advice on how freshmen can create a positive relationship with their roommate, whether they are a stranger or an old friend.
When living in a small room with someone, there are bound to be conflicts at some point. However, if steps are taken to prevent conflict, roommates can become friends.
Russell Molitor, a junior, is part of Knutzen Hall government. After living in the residence halls for two years, he understands what makes a good relationship with a roommate.
“Don’t break your roommates trust or lose their respect because both are key to having a successful year,” Molitor said.
Molitor suggested roommates should communicate with each other prior to move-in day.
“Connecting with a roommate before moving in and planning living arrangements relieve some move-in day stress,” Molitor said. “Establishing ground rules is essential for a successful living environment.”
Bill Steinke, a junior, is a community advisor in Knutzen Hall who believes that when roommates are friends it is mutually comforting for both parties. “Having a roommate gives you your first friend on campus,” Steinke said.
Steinke advised that roommates should keep lines of communication open. “Communication is essential and without good communication, the relationship can be awkward or problematic,” Steinke said.
In addition to communicating, experienced students advised that it is important to be courteous throughout the year and respect people’s personal space and belongings.
Molitor’s experience with roommates taught him that expressing concerns and comfort levels prevents problems. He said it is always good to be upfront and honest about what roommates are willing to share and not share in their room.
Molitor said living in a small room with someone makes it easy for one person to influence the other. It seems that in this way, Molitor said that they can help push one another to get involved with campus activities.
Due to the above, roommates who are teammates or have common majors or lifestyles often find it easier to connect with one another.
Alex Gall, a freshman from Knutzen Hall, arrived early this year because he is on the football team. Moving in early allowed him to room with someone, also older on the team.
“It was helpful living with someone who knew their way around campus,” Gall said.
Gall said he enjoyed living with someone who is already acclimated with campus. “Having similar interests with your roommate is helpful,”Gall said.
It seems that feeling comfortable in your living space is pertinent to having a successful year. Establishing a solid relationship with a roommate, new face or old friend, will ensue that success.