Living with your Roommates

Living with your Roommates

I hd never lived with anyone before TWC, so I was very cautious about having roommates and worried about how we would communicate. Unfortunately, you cannot prepare for the unexpected and it is best, whether you have never lived with roommates or you automatically feel as if you may need help communicating with them, that you should attend the “Living with your Roommates” session the first week of programming. This will allow you to get very helpful tips that will enable you to better communicate and understand your roommates. And when picking your roommate, FACEBOOK is not a filtration system. You cannot judge how a person is based on a Facebook conversation!

They only wanted me for my iron?

Sharing with your roommates needs to be discussed in full before anything is further purchased. You will be given a check sheet from The Washington Center for you and your roommates to fill out. Do not hesitate to grab that sheet and have a sit down. Do not take it lightly; people can say something as simple as, “Let’s all use one iron." That’s fine, as TWC provides you with an iron, but perhaps one of your roommates has a better one that everyone decides to use. Now, you must decide, “What if the iron is broken?” Decisions like this need to be discussed before the iron is shared. The same situation applies to buying supplies for cleaning up, meal preparation, food storage, etc. A situation can be very uncomfortable for all parties if these things are not discussed in full at the beginning of the semester.

Guests

ALL GUESTS MUST SIGN IN! A situation occurred where things were missing in a student’s apartment. When questioned, she could not provide full, adequate answers because of an unsigned overnight guest who was snuck in, against the rules. You are required to show your TWC I.D Badge when entering the building, boarding the shuttle bus and signing in guests. You should discuss guests with your roommates at the beginning of the semester. Having guests can create uncomfortable situations for your suitemates.

When things turn for the worst

Not every situation is good to stay in. The Washington Center has a R.A Staff who are there to help you with those situations. Most of us have lived on campus, and some have even been a mentor or R.A for our home universities, so we have a common ground. If you feel; at any point in time, that your living situation is unsafe, tense or extremely uncomfortable, immediately contact your R.A. They are trained to handle these situations. I had one of those situations earlier this semester. I received instructions on TWC procedures, however, things turned for the worst later on in evening. Once the on-call R.A was notified, he responded promptly to the issue, I choose to not stay at the RAF that night, instead choosing to stay with my gracious and awesome supervisor, Carolyn. The next day, the Assistant Director of Student Life called and discussed the issue with me. I was soon granted a move, effective that day, and was assisted in moving by Carolyn, a Staff Attorney at PDS, MHD, and Sheryl. See? I told you my internship was like my D.C family. Though these results are not typical, the issue was handled very quickly and promptly. After my move, I had no problems with my new roommates, in fact we became really good friends and I couldn’t have asked for better!

Avoid the Gang-Up Syndrome

People will often find that two or three roommates will have one thing in common. When they do, though this is great for some roommates, it may leave a roommate or two out. This will cause the “Gang-Up Syndrome." You can’t help whom you share an interest with; however, you can control how you handle this interest. I’ve found that if you simply mention this interest to your roommate, you never know what can come out of it. My roommate Tameka mentioned that she loved Glee. I thought Glee was a very silly show. Yes, I said it. However, for the sake of conversation, I shared this information, in a polite way. She proceeded to ask if I had ever watched it. I honestly told her, “Not for a full episode.” She told me that it was about to come on and asked if I wanted to watch it with her and our other roommate Iris (Hyeji), I agreed and proceeded to watch the show. It was the “Grilled Cheesus” episode! I loved it! I continued to watch Glee, usually with Tameka or Iris! They were in the apartment a month before I moved in, and after this happened, I never had the Gang-Up Syndrome with them.

Communication is more than a 13 letter word

Communication is the act in which information is passed. If you don’t communicate or attempt to communicate, you will not have a healthy relationship with your suitemates or in life. You must use every tool at your disposal to keep the lines of communication open and available. Even if you don’t have the same interests, try asking them to watch television with you, or simply go to Safeway together for groceries. This may help you establish a better relationship. Across from my apartment, 2 roommates shared the same passion of music, the third roommate was international from Quebec, and they all invited her to a “Jam Session” that they were thinking about having. From then all, they all enjoyed singing and listening to their favorite artists together. One simple act formed a very tight friendship.

All in all, don’t come in expecting the worst. You could be like my friend Jennifer Black, I.C.E (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) intern, and get a single apartment! However, you should expect to be yourself and open to all positive suggestions from your new roommates!

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