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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Living with strangers

 

 

College comes with its challenges, and for many, learning to live with another person in a dorm can be an adjustment.
Carol Binzer, Residence Life director of administrative and support services and member of ATMentors, said the roommate complaints she usually receives are not related to whether or not someone is clean or dirty.
“The issues we face are usually when the schedules are way off or if other people are in the mix, such as boyfriends, girlfriends and people from home,” Binzer said.
Jake Smith, political science sophomore, said he once took issue with his roommate allowing his girlfriend to constantly be over at their house.
“His girlfriend lived at our place basically, I usually saw her more than I saw him,” Smith said. “He never would ask me or let me know. It came to a point where she started to run the place and act like she lived there, too.”
Leann Taylor, business sophomore, said an issue she had with her freshman roommate from the beginning was that they had different sleeping schedules.
“I had a 9 a.m., I would wake up, go to class and I would come home wanting to study but the lights would be turned off and she would still be sleeping,” Taylor said.
While some students struggled with different schedules, Smith said his roommate came from a different background than his, which made things difficult.
“We just grew up different, two completely different people.” Smith said. “He grew up in the city and I was from a small town, he was really reserved and I was super friendly, so we were just very different from the start.”
While many issues could be addressed through communication between roommates, Taylor said she avoided them due to her roommate’s personality.
“She always took things too personally, so I never confronted her about it,” Taylor said. “I felt like she would have just gotten offended.”
Smith said he did not address many issues with his roommate, either.
“Eventually, one thing after another, it just continued to build on top of each other,” Smith said.
Cindi Kepic, ecological restoration junior said the biggest issues she’s witnessed as an RA have stemmed from lack of communication among roommates.
“I think no one really likes confrontation, so they assume they will be fine and it’s not worth the confrontation,” Kepic said. “A lot of times they will passively aggressively take it out on them.”
Binzer said she always urges new roommates to communicate and set ground rules for each other to avoid problems.
“We always talk about having conversations about some of those logistic matters, such as whether someone is sloppy or neat, if they can borrow something or not,” Binzer said.
Binzer said there are resources available to students that could aid to problems of living with another person.
“The Adult, Graduate and Off Campus Student Services has a guide, which has a sample roommate contract in it that covers those logistic matters,” Binzer said.
Freshmen roommates Samantha Davis and Corinne Caraway laugh with each other about the day’s events.
Photo by Sarah Lane

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