As the school year kicks off, this week will be the time new and old students will gain their footing with living in a new space. For a lot of people, it is the first time sharing a room with another student.
When sharing a space with someone, it can be challenging to figure out each other's boundaries and living habits.
“Going from having your own room at home to sharing one with somebody can take some getting used to, but learning to live with somebody is a good experience—you learn how to respect somebody else’s space,” said Ani Yam, sophomore in industrial engineering.
It can also be helpful to know your roommate before moving into the dorms, said Abigail Molina, sophomore in psychology, who said she moved in with a friend from her high school.
“My advice would be to find someone who is similar to you personality wise,” Molina said. “My friend from high school is super chill and easy going like me so we get along really well even though we don’t have similar interests.”
Understanding boundaries and finding a balance between schedules can help with those who like to study into the early hours of the morning. Yam said she would use small areas in her studying habits such as using her lamp as a light source since she would be up late studying.
“We also go to bed at different times, so I will only use my desk lamp at night when she’s asleep or go to the den to study so she can get a good night’s rest,” Yam said. “Last semester, she would wake up earlier than I would, and she would always get ready quietly to let me sleep in. I have learned to work my schedule around hers so that we both have a good balance of both personal time in the room so we can hang out outside of classes.”
If you have not met your roommate prior to coming to Iowa State, spending the time with them by going to different events with each other or studying are ways to build a friendship. Yam said she changed her habits while living in the dorms and started to try new activities.
“I’ve also learned how to keep myself organized so we can keep our room clean,” Yam said. “It’s also really nice to have somebody to go try new things with — I wouldn’t have gone to any football games, Cyclone Cinema movies or other socials if it weren’t for my roommate.”