How to be a Great Roommate: Tips from an ENMU Student

Roommates in dorm
Roommate goals! Graduate student Nkechi Obodozie (not pictured) discusses the best ways to share a space.

How to be a Great Roommate: Tips from an ENMU Student

"Being a good neighbor is an art which makes life richer."- Gladys Taber

In a world that encourages increasing isolation through interactions of the virtual world, are we even aware of the next person to us?

We all want love, respect and understanding but to receive these, we must too cultivate the art of giving these values to our everyday relationships. None is as important as the person living closest to you. Borrowing wisdom from Proverbs: "Better a neighbor close by, than a brother far away."

Having a roommate in college can be one of the best experiences of your life. In college, we make lifelong friends and sometimes best friends. Sure no relationship is without its flaws, but with the aging comes fine tuning.

Experience is the best teacher and sharing a space with someone else not only widens your scope of human interactions but tolerance in co-existing with others. The plus side is that you will grow to know yourself more. Often we see only the perfections in ourselves, but a neighbor is the best mirror for our flaws.

As we spend more time together, the inherent imperfections become more conspicuous. When this arises, we should embrace each other's shortcomings. And that's truly a step to successful living, a tip that creates and maintains a network of friends/people; a skill for life. It helps create success at each point in your life. There is no achievement without an interaction with another human being nor any enterprise successful without one. People management is even an academic course. Where best to learn for free if not through experiences shared with another person from a different background? Room-mating can be your best guide to people management skills.

Learn to embrace the weaknesses and work on them. If we realize this, we become more forgiving and tolerant of the next person's. Complementing one another is also key. Compromise and match each other in perfections and imperfections.

Be respectful. Respect the person, time, schedule, space, silence or other peculiarities. Be mindful that tastes and likes vary.

Be courteous. A little smile, hello and other niceties can please the receiver and give you a smile back in return.

Communicate more with the real people next to you. There is no telepathic connection to understand one another if we do not talk to each other. Share your concerns but respectfully about what offends you. Be aware it may not be the intent of the other to offend you.

Be neat. Clean up after yourself.

Be flexible and patient. Allow room for perceptions on all subjects.

Remember the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you will have them do unto you." Again, leaning on Napoleon Hill: "Only by working harmoniously in co-operation with other individuals; creating value and benefit for them, will one create sustainable achievement for oneself."

Be kind. Care for one another. "We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care that all," said Eleanor Roosevelt. We often can influence people's behavior by changing ours toward them.

Be on the lookout for the basic human vice; envy that often we do not want to acknowledge in ourselves but quickly in others as socially-unacceptable emotion. Negative though it is, understanding that we all do have a teeny-tiny bit of insecurities can help. We compare and contrast almost everything we lay eyes on. It is this contrast that makes the world more beautiful and interesting, don't you think so? Imagine if everything was just white and no colors, bland! Someone must always be prettier, more handsome, more fit, more curvy, more athletic, richer or otherwise. It should not make you think you are more or less than you are. Do not go acting all out based on a few insecurities you are nursing.

"Jealousy is the fear of comparison."- Max Frisch

Had a riff? It is normal. Break the ice. Do not turn a difference of opinion into a war. Dialogue always helps. Be the bigger person and reach out for a peaceful co-existence.

Do not forget we are matured gents and ladies, here to make the world a better, awesome place. Wouldn't you rather start with where you are at the moment?