Communication key in residence hall life

By Kimberly Marion

Oh, how wonderful it is to live in a residence hall. Sharing a small box with another person, living on a floor with people who smell like a bittersweet garbage can and having to listen to your next-door neighbor make beats and blast them at midnight on a Tuesday. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Well, actually, it could be better. There are some people who are meant for residence halls and there are those who need to get their own place. This especially goes for people who are unwilling to compromise and be respectful toward their extremely close neighbors.

It takes a certain amount of patience to live in a residence hall. There are multiple problems and issues you have to deal with.

A way to reduce conflict or other residence problems is to respect the people who live on your floor. If you give respect, you will most likely receive it.

I would also advise residents to deal with any problems by being honest and tactful. In most situations, it is not what you say but how you say it. Let me give you an example:

Roommate No. 1: “You know what? You stink!”

Roommate No. 2: “Hey, I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must be smelling yourself!”

Now let’s try this in a different manner.

Roommate No. 1: “Can we talk for a moment?”

Roommate No. 2: “Yeah.”

Roommate No. 1: “I have noticed the room has had a certain odor, so I cleaned up the room and the smell is still there. So I figured we could work on our cleanliness and hygiene.”

Roommate No. 2: “Yeah, that’s cool. I can do that.”

This resolution is ideal, of course. You would be able to talk to your roommate and get something off your chest without causing more conflict and drama.

Another piece of advice is to not wait until you are furious, frustrated and flustered to tell your roommate or floormate about what he or she is doing to upset you. If the problem continues, it is no one’s fault but your own.

I would also not run to the community adviser for every problem that occurs. That may make you dependent on the community adviser’s authority. Also, college is a time in your life when you are supposed to become responsible for your actions and become more of an adult.

If you do have to go to the CA, think about how he or she might handle the problem.

“To alleviate any problems between roommates, I usually talk to them individually,” said Tiffany Gonzales, a senior communications major and a CA in Neptune Hall. “Following that, I then have a mediation session between roommates in my room and have the roommates create rules and guidelines for the room.”

The last resort for disturbance on a floor or within your room is to move out. I would save this only as a final solution because it can be time consuming and should only happen after you have tried to resolve any problems.

Residence halls teach students many things, but the most important things we learn living in residence halls are people’s limits and how to deal with conflict. Open communication is the best way to resolve issues.

But remember: Unsaid words go unheard.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.