College 101: Living with a Roommate!
For many of you, moving away to college means more independence, living away from home, and perhaps sharing a living space for the very first time. At Dartmouth, some time during the summer before your freshman year, you'll fill out a form asking about living preferences (ie: What time do you wake up/go to bed? Do you want to live in a Living Learning Community? Do you prefer single gender halls?) Don't overthink too much, but make sure you answer the quiz authentically as it will help administrators make the best roommate and dorm pairings as possible. Dartmouth does a great job matching roommates based on preferences.
First and foremost, great roommates are great communicators. Once housing assignments are released, definitely call and coordinate common items like a mini fridge, hot water heater, rug, fans, room decor, and more! Make an effort to get to know your roommate and become familiar with each other's schedules and interests outside the classroom. For instance, whenever my roommate had a big test last year (and vice versa), I would be extra mindful of how much noise I was making so she could perform to her best ability.
Since I went to a boarding school, I had prior experience living away from my parents among my classmates, so I came equipped knowing the basics of sharing a space. Now, don't get me wrong, high school is a lot different from college. I'm super glad I no longer have nightly room checks and instead I now enjoy much more freedom, but still, make sure you're staying organized. Set a schedule to clean and declutter your room because in my experience your living environment directly influences your mindset and productivity.
Moreover, learn to give each other space and respect one another's boundaries. Set reasonable expectations and realize that while nice and compatible, your roommate may not end up being your very best friend and that's totally okay! You'll have plenty of resources like your Undergraduate Advisor (UGA) to lean on when there are questions or you need someone to speak with. Next year, I'm super stoked to be a West House first-year UGA, which means I'll be responsible for the '25s living in the first floor of French dorm. If any of you reading this blog just so happen to be living on French Hall floor 1 or nearby next year, please reach out (@sydney.wuu). West House Best House!!
As someone who is quite sociable and enjoys building a residential community, I'm super excited to incorporate being a UGA in my everyday life as I strive to serve as a mentor and friend to others, help resolve any conflict or emergency, and form long-lasting individual bonds with my residents. Being a UGA also means I'm assigned to live in a single next year, so while I'll miss the company of a roommate, I'm appreciative of the extra space and privacy of a one-person dorm room. That's all for today's blog post and stay tuned for more updates!