Lack-luster roommates are lurking behind every apartment contract, but don’t swear off roommates just yet.
It’s likely that Dixie State University students will have their fair share of unpleasant roommate interactions, but DSU students have coping mechanisms to help deal with pesky roommate behavior. Here are DSU students’ advice on how to approach roommate dilemmas:
Love It Out
Living in close quarters with another person or people can bring out the negative Nancys in everyone, but Sella Pauling, a sophomore general education major from Vicenza, Italy, makes an effort to build positive relationships with her roomies.
“We get in fights, and someone will always be like, ‘You know what — (sit) down and tell each other three things you love about each other,’” Pauling said. “It’s kind of embarrassing, but it works.”
Pauling said her roommates strive to utilize each other’s strengths and know how to compensate for each other’s weaknesses. She said she had a slight laundry disaster that made her roommates decide to utilize her in other house cleaning areas — in a loving way.
“The way we resolved that (laundry disaster) was me not doing laundry anymore,” Pauling said. “Now I take out the trash and vacuum.”
It takes two to tango, but, more importantly, it takes two to form a healthy roommate relationship. Garret Pittario, a senior CIT major from St. George, encountered a less-than-desirable roommate situation and decided to look inward for solutions.
“(My roommates) didn’t do the freaking dishes — like two to three weeks worth of dishes, so, I got rid of all the dishes and bought paper plates,” Pittario said.
Pittario said to only worry about the person you can control: yourself.
“Worry about how you feel about the situation because there is nothing you can do about the other person,” Pittario said. “You can only control yourself. Do an internal search of why the situation bothers you, and then find ways around the issue.”
Every society has rules, including the 1,000 square-foot-society better known as the apartment. Doug Heizer, a senior nursing major from Cary, Ill., established rules after running into a filthy roommate dilemma.
“(The roommate) was just dirty and never cleaned up after himself,” Heizer said. “At first I was assertive and asked him to clean up his mess, but he wouldn’t, so I ended up just leaving the mess for him. He would ask me when I was going to do the dishes and I told him I did all my dishes, and left his for a social experiment to see how long it would take him to notice that those were all his dishes.”
Heizer advised students to make house rules from the get-go.
“Set up ground rules at the very beginning and then have consequences for those rules,” Heizer said.
Know Your Boundaries
Sharing a space is turbulent, and it’s necessary to know what kind of living arrangement works best for you. Hilary Park, a freshman psychology major from Salt Lake City, said she aligned her living situation with her personality and preferences.
“I didn’t get a roommate,” Park said. “I just like my own space. I did not want a roommate last semester or this semester, but I have a suite mate and that’s fine. It’s easier for me.”
Park said knowing what kind of living arrangement works for you is the key to having a happy home.
Empathy is crucial in most relationships, and the relationships with your roommates are no different. Lyndsey Craig, a freshman psychology major from Lexington Ky., had a shaky roommate circumstance that led to life lessons learned.
“I was living with my very best friend, and she’s still my best friend,” Craig said. “We thought we could live together and everything would be OK, but our personalities just clashed. We had too much time together, and things just kind of blew up. She kicked me out and threw all my stuff outside. We just couldn’t be together that much for that long.”
Craig said once the situation was said and done, she learned more about relationships.
“I realized you could be as close with someone as you can, but your personalities can be so different that you may not work well together in a close relationship like that,” Craig said. “The golden rule for any relationship or living with anyone is to have empathy and be understanding.”