By Erin Gignac
The biggest reason for a room change lies in communication, not in surface issues like sharing food, deciding on bedtimes, coordinating study times and sharing a 12-by-12 foot living space.
“A lot of people jump the gun,” said Eicher/LeFevre Hall Director Nolan Patton. “They should communicate first.”
Many roommates focus on disagreements between specific points instead of addressing the real problem, which are feelings, he said. They feel disrespected.
“People grab onto the points and try to defend those positions,” he said.
He recommends using “I” statements to talk about feelings. Roommates should use this technique early: even on the first day they move in. Most times, the other roommate doesn’t know they’re causing a problem.
“Most people aren’t going to be offended,” he said.
So, when should roommates split? When the students’ anger is too built up resolve due to lack of communication, then it’s usually a sign they need to switch rooms, Patton said.
Here are some tips the Western Herald has compiled of things that are normal and not normal in a roommate relationship.
- Not be best friends
- Have different schedules and priorities
- No communication
- Eat other roommate’s food without permission
- Not share room responsibilities
However, if shared food and room responsibilities are agreed upon by both roommates through communication, then some of the “not normal” habits would be considered “normal,” Patton said.