College seniors offer tips, tricks, advice for university living

A group of students sit at a dining room table in a house off-campus to play a board game with snacks readily available. (Archive photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Moving to college comes with a lot of new experiences and challenges, but roommates can serve as built-in supporters and friends.

Although living with others can be a blast, there are also times when it can get difficult, especially when living with close friends. Sierra Staatz, senior in chemical engineering, suggested making compromises with those you live with.

“To avoid issues beforehand, it’s best to come up with a compromise,” Staatz said. “If one roommate likes to stay up later than the other, allow Thursday through Saturday to be late nights and the other nights have a set quiet time.”

Olivia White, senior in marketing, finds confrontation to be beneficial in her house with her three roommates — as long as it is handled correctly — because it allows for the issue to be talked about and resolved.

“Confrontation isn’t the enemy, it actually resolved a lot, if done correctly,” White said. “Make house rules and expectations before moving in and just communicate plans to eliminate issues.”

White said she suggests being aware of your space as well as your roommate’s, especially when it comes to the kitchen — an important shared space in any home. White also said it’s important to be considerate of the temperature of the house, as you could make the house too cold or too hot for others living there.

“A pet peeve is not enough freezer space, buying too much and not being aware of space for others and turning heat too high,” White said.

When stressed with classes or other circumstances, smaller pet peeves might become more annoying. White said it’s important to take a step back and constructively approach the situation.

“My biggest advice is realizing people were raised differently, so be patient. But also communication — if something is bothering you, talk about it,” White said. “If you don’t and you let it bother you, it could turn into an argument instead of a civil conversation.”

Roommates give you the opportunity to have buddies to hang out with at home, at the store, at the gym, at dinner and even late-night ice cream runs.

“Some of my favorite memories with my roommates are random late-night trips to get ice cream or going to the rec together,” Staatz said.

“My favorite memories would be taco bar night, game night, last-minute trips to a restaurant and even grocery trips,” White said.

Along with moving out of your parents’ houses and into a college house, dorm or apartment, you have the chance to make the space your own, from decorating to furniture.

“A great tip for decorating on a budget: get thrifty by buying used items. It’s college, so not everything has to match perfectly,” Staatz said.

Staatz and her two roommates have used memories and keepsakes as decorations and even used polaroid pictures to decorate their Christmas tree this past season.

Roommates are a great part of college and life — forever friends that help teach you lessons, like how to live with others, be considerate and respectful. They are a great way to help you through your time in and out of college.