A roommate can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. Undeniably, living with someone can be a real challenge. Roommate clashes are so common among university students. The good news is that by applying these principles and showing practical wisdom, conflicts can be resolved.

1. Get to know each other.

Once the excitement of moving has worn off, you might find yourself longing for the way things were back home. Stop dwelling in the past, begin by making efforts to get to know your roommate. Your roommate may not necessarily be the closest of friends. Without launching into what sounds like an interrogation, you could ask about your roommate’s family background, his or her interests, goals, and preferences. Share information about yourself too. The more you learn about each other, the more you will begin to understand each other.

2. Make definite plans to do some things together.

Things like eating out together or cooking together if possible, visiting some art gallery together, or engaging in sports together. A word of caution, though, don’t get so close to a roommate that you fail to develop other healthy relationships. Widen out in your friendship.

4. Live by the golden rule.

Of course, as you to know each other, you get to notice the differences in habits, tastes, and viewpoints. So don’t expect your roommate to make major changes to accommodate you. You have to be unselfish and not self-centered. Being inflexible or self-centered only generates stress and tension. Be flexible. You don’t have to give up all your ways, but you may have to give up a way or two. Learn to be tolerant of your roommate’s tastes. You may not like his/her taste of music; most likely, he/she may feel the same way about yours.  Try practicing tolerance. If you feel you are being taken advantage of, don’t retreat into silence. State your grievance calmly and kindly.

5. Be respectful of each other’s possessions.

It is presumptuous to borrow something without asking for permission.

6. Be mindful of your roommate’s need for privacy.

Extend simple courtesies like knocking before entering the room. When you show respect, your roommate will likely reciprocate. You can agree to use the room together for a certain task like studying, or in case the other wants to do something else, one might use the library.

7. Share responsibilities.

You can also apply the golden rule when it comes to such things as paying your share of the rent or doing your share of household chores.

8. Settle disputes as soon as possible.

Perhaps there is a personality clash or some irritating personal habit that pushes your patience to the limit. What do you do? Stop rooming together? Not necessarily. Instead, you should think about settling the issue amicably. Make peace as soon as possible and freely forgive one another.

9. Think of the benefits.

They say two are better than one. Indeed, many have found the experience of rooming with someone beneficial. You will learn how to deal with people better and adapt. And at the same time, roommates can be positive peer pressure. True, getting along with a roommate takes effort and sacrifice. However, if you work hard at applying these principles, you can do more than coexist peacefully; you might even find yourself enjoying having a roommate.

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