Attending College and Living Away from Home

You’ve waited your entire life for this and now it is here. You are moving out on your own. Well sort of. You are moving into a college dorm. You’ve decided that your mental health can withstand it and you have to get out of the house. You will likely be living in a small space with a complete stranger. So how do you survive happily? Issues and problems will arise. How you handle them can make all of the difference. Most troubles are due to topics such as messiness, food, privacy, space, guests, parties, and work schedules. Try a few of these tips when things get tough.

· Prior to moving day, find out who your roommate is and contact him/her. Find out what furniture you will need and what you can share.

· Use common courtesy. Let your roommate know if you plan to have guests over to visit. Try setting up a small dry erase board so the two of you can relay notes to each other on upcoming events and plans.

· Be flexible. Your roommate is paying the same as you. He/She has the rights to have friends over to visit. However, do not compromise at the expense of your health or your academics.

· Be upfront about all issues. Holding untold grudges will only make things worse. Confront your roommate and discuss issues when you are not pleased with the living arrangements.

· Set rules about borrowing items from each other. Will you share clothing or other personal belongings? Is it okay for you or your roommate to borrow items when the other is not at home to ask for permission?

· Try to stay out of your roommate’s family problems. If a parent calls for your roommate, do not get involved by sharing information about your roommate.

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