He Said, She Said
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Not getting along with your roommate can really put a damper on any year at Boston College. I’ve been fortunate enough to have great roommates throughout my time here, but I’ve talked to multiple people who have avoided their room as much as possible in particular years strictly because they could not handle the tension or awkwardness between themselves and their roommate. While there are some people who are going to be non-communicative and uninterested in being friends no matter what you say or do, you should definitely at least make an effort to connect with your roommate. Start simply with an “I’ll see you later” when leaving the room, or “Hey how’s it going?” when you get back from class. Small talk can lead to more talk which can lead to real talk and a much more enjoyable living situation for everyone involved.
Although it is undoubtedly easier said than done, be patient with it and don’t let the initial few dull conversations stop you from making an effort to build some sort of relationship. Also keep in mind that you’re not trying to become your roommate’s best friend (if that does happen, though, it’s a huge bonus), you’re just looking to develop a sense of ease and understanding with each other so when stuff does come up that you need to talk to your roommate about, you won’t be nervous or anxious about the looming conversation. You’re going to avoid a lot of frustration later on if you are proactive about the situation now. At the end of the day, however, a relationship takes two people to work, so if your roommate doesn’t put forth some effort as well and meet you somewhere in the middle, then do the best you can to be cordial and find yourself some better roommates for next year.
Housing at Boston College is a metaphorical obstacle course of friendships and promises. The situation gets a bit more complicated when random people somehow get involved in your housing arrangement—while it makes the initial process easier, it changes the living dynamic.
Having a “rando,” as they’re so eloquently called, may be difficult, but it is a chance to get to know someone new that you may not have ever met, which is always exciting. He or she is probably really nervous about being thrown into a quad or eight-man with a group of friends, so they automatically feel like an outsider. But this is easy to overcome. As a member of the core group in the living arrangement, it is your job to be welcoming—invite her to parties with you and your friends, ask her to grab late night, or plan a dinner out in Boston to get to know her. This will make her feel more at home in the new environment.
It may be that she’s not the “going out” type, which would make getting to know her a bit more difficult. In this case, the easiest and more sincere way to put her more at ease is to talk to her just while you’re hanging out in your room. Ask her about home, her friends, her interests, etc. Who knows—maybe you’ll discover you guys have way more in common than you think.
If she’s really quiet and doesn’t seem to be super hyped about getting very acclimated into your group, establishing a good living environment may be the best situation for everyone involved and will ensure everyone’s happiness. While she by no means has to be your best friend, she should definitely feel comfortable.