It can be terrifying to stay with someone you don’t know. Campus can be a fun and exciting experience, but adjusting to living with roommates in a tiny dorm space can take some time. However, sharing a room with someone you don’t know well does not mean you have to give up your privacy. You can still have private time when you need it if you’re honest with your roommates and make a few changes to the room.
Tips below will help you adjust when necessary:
Set limits for yourself and your roommates.
If you really want privacy in a shared space, you’ll need to set some ground rules so that everyone knows what to expect. For example, you and your roommates may discuss the policy for allowing visitors in the room and whether overnight guests are appropriate. It’s also a good idea to see if you can borrow each other’s belongings, including clothes and computers.
How to do it:
- Be open and frank with your roommates about the level of privacy you need to feel at ease, and respect your roommates’ boundaries. Everyone in the room should feel at ease.
- It might be difficult to bring up the subject of privacy and room boundaries with your roommates if you’ve just recently met them. “I’m excited to live with you and get to know you,” you may say, “but my privacy is very important to me.” Do you think we should discuss how we’ll deal with it in the room? ” or “hello, it’s good to meet you, I’m happy you’re here, but I’d like us to keep our stuff in order and in the right place.”
When it comes to overnight guests, you and your roommates can agree that they’re welcome as long as you let each other know ahead of time.
- If you plan to let each other borrow objects from each other, it’s normally wise to stipulate that you must first request consent.
Keep an eye on your belongings.
You should be able to trust your roommates, so you won’t have to worry about your belongings. However, if you’ve only recently met them, you can’t be certain that they’ll respect your privacy. That is why you should enable encryption keys on your phone, laptop, mobile device, and any other electronic devices in the room. If you have other items that you don’t want them to have access to, such as clothing, jewelry, or books, you may want to invest in a lockable trunk or footlocker.
Make sure you don’t give out your electronic passwords to anyone. Don’t even write them down on paper that you keep in the room.
You can even make you own locker to keep your things and have a keys to avoid anyone touching or taking thing without permission.
Timetables of exchange
If you’d like to have some alone time in your hotel room, it’s a good idea to talk to your roommates about their schedules. You’ll want to know when they’ll be in class or at work, and they’ll want to know the same thing about you. That way, you’ll know when the space will be available if you need some alone time.
If both you and your roommates are normally out of the room at the same time for classes, jobs, or other events, you can make a schedule that allows each of you to have some alone time in the room once a week. For example, you might agree to go to the library for a couple of hours on Monday evenings in exchange for your roommate’s space, and they might agree to go to the library for a study on Friday nights in exchange for you having some alone time.
You can also talk about whether you and your roommates have a habit of staying up late or waking up early so that you can respect each other’s routines.
Make the room as private as possible.
Space by taking a side of the bed. If you’re sharing a room with three Students’ rooms are typically small in most schools, but there are ways to arrange the furniture so that you and your roommates each have some privacy. If you only have one roommate, you can each set up your own or four other people, you can each take a corner for your belongings.
If you are sharing a room with just one other person, for example, you can use the room’s furniture to divide the space, e.g. Place yours and your roommate’s dressers, closets, or bookcases side by side in the center of the bed, with yours towards your side and theirs towards theirs. This will build a bridge between you and allow you to also have more privacy.
Alternatively, you should see if your school can loft your bed for you. You can build a space underneath your bed to place your desk or a seating area where you’ll have a little more privacy by lofting your bed.
You can keep different sleeping and studying schedules without disrupting each other by having one person loft their bed and put their desk beneath it, and the other leaving their bed on the floor with their desk overlooking it.
Use the trick of hanging curtains.
Personally I like the method, you sometimes really don’t want to see or even just look at anyone, all you want is just to be yourself, and when you need protection from your roommate, fabric can also be used as a room divider. Since most colleges would not allow you to screw or bolt curtain rods and cables into the ceiling, you can choose a lightweight curtain material like cotton voile, or cotton gauze that you can tie to the ceiling with incredibly simple push pins.
The fabric panels can be hung in the middle of the room to fully separate it, or in specific places, such as in front of the space under your lofted bed.
Using curtain tiebacks to gather the panels back when you open up the room if you want to be able to open and close the fabric divider.
Utilize noise-cancelling headphones.
People are always different, and you can’t just tell them what to do. Besides, you both have equal rights, so in cases where you probably just want to get some rest or aren’t in the mood to listen to your roommate’s phone call or fights with their significant other, noise-cancelling headphones are the best way to give you some privacy. You can wear these headphones whenever you want to study or do classwork without being distracted by what your roommate is doing.
Noise-isolating headphones are not the same as noise-cancelling headphones. Noise-isolating headphones physically filter out noise by forming a tight seal between your ear and the headphone, reducing the amount of background noise you hear. While noise-cancelling headphones use a seal to help block noise, they often electronically cancel out ambient noises for more efficient noise cancellation.
For your accessories, get a lock box.
If you find that your roommate is taking your accessories and you don’t know how to tell them, it’s better to make a tiny lockable box to make or drive your point that you don’t want anyone touching it.