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Did you prepare your kids to be good college roommates?

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Replies to: Did you prepare your kids to be good college roommates?

  • liska21liska21 Registered User Posts: 592 Member
    @oldfort lol, well it seems your D is not a pushover. My D is also no longer (such) a pushover, but it took many nights of being sexiled to get to that better place. Later after she refused to be sexiled, roommate still sometimes snuck BF into room while D was sleeping. If D woke up, she'd usually chase him out but sometimes it was easier to just roll over and sleep through the sex on the other side of room.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,802 Senior Member
    If it doesn't kill you then it makes you stronger. :)
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,347 Senior Member
    I wonder if roommates shouldn’t discuss the overnight business early on. If they can’t agree then can’t the one who doesn’t want overnight guests go to the RA to figure it out?
  • liska21liska21 Registered User Posts: 592 Member
    Well I think it falls into the category of things you might not think to teach your kid on how to be a good roommate. How to respectfully have guests in your room. It's along the same lines as having parties (small or not so small) in your room, when your roommate is not part of the party. It's easy to become the obnoxious roommate when you're the ones having a friend or friends over.

    Or the roommate that spends every night in the dorm room, maybe with a friend (not necessarily bf or gf), can come to take over more than their fair share of the room. How do you teach giving other people space or being aware of cliques? It's not just about tidiness.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 753 Member
    My kid has shared a room at the CTD three week camp, and so has some experience, though there is a difference between three weeks and a school year.

    I asked her if she'd like me to get her "The Naked Roommate", to which she responded "Books?! I don't need no stinkin' book!"

    Well, what she actually said was "I don't want to be THAT person, who learned how to live with a roommate from a book. I'll go in blind, like everybody else". I can't wait for the year to start, and listen to her complaining about her roommate, to which I will reply, in my most reasonable fatherly tones "it's not so bad, you could have been THAT person, aren't you glad that you're not?"...
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,730 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    No. He would not listen if we tried. It worked, even the apartment- the others were just as bad as he was regarding messes.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,811 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    We did not do anything in particular other than remind them that they need to be considerate. We tried our best to raise them to be respectful of others, and we hoped this would follow them to school. My kids lucked out...they had great roommates who they are still friendly with.

    My daughter met her roommate on the FB group. They were able to talk for a few weeks before deciding to be roommates. Neither one drank so this eliminated the possibility of significant drinking related problems. D’s school has suites, and the suite was pretty quiet both years that she was on campus.

    As far as boyfriends, my D told me that her freshman year roommate occasionally had her out of town boyfriend stay over ( maybe 3-4 times all year), but the roommate told my D ahead of time not to leave...he would be sleeping on the floor. My D didn’t seem to mind and it was never a problem for her.

    I agree that these things need to be discussed ahead of time, and many schools have roommate contracts. I never really inquired about any of these details...I figured if there were any issues my D would figure them out or at least complain to me. I never heard any major complaints.

    For my daughter, the biggest issue was learning how to handle things that got on her nerves after awhile. It’s bound to happen, even if you love your roommate. Some things don’t seem like a big deal when you are “interviewing” potential roommates, so they get ignored. For example, my D is an early riser...even on the weekends. Her roommate slept until 12:00 or later on Saturday and Sunday. This made D crazy as she had to tiptoe around, could not turn on the light, etc. She learned to adapt and realized she had a great roommate, despite the differences in sleep habits. I guess she learned how to compromise with a roommate, which is something she really never had to do at home but is certainly an important skill to have in college...and life.

  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,925 Senior Member
    We talked about it quite a bit as D grew up like an "only" with a brother 8 years older and out of the house before she turned 10. She could (and still occasionally) be self-centered and she is a slob (still). She can't cook, goes to bed too early for most her age (and gets up too early as well), and can be pretty stubborn at times. Even with those qualities, she was a better roommate than alot she met during her four years.

    Her first two roommates, who arrived two weeks earlier than she did freshman year, were unfriendly. She eventually moved out of that room to a single because it was such a bad experience. She then went to a double and has remained friends with that roommate to now, and for junior and senior years has shared an apartment with three others. There is some drama but not too bad, imho, a great learning experience.

    As for the slob part, turns out she really isn't when compared to others her age. She is disgusted by the filth in the kitchen and bathrooms in her apartment and is the one who does the cleaning. That's a proud moment lol.

    I find the whole "sexiling" thing rude. Worse than that, I think anyone who can have sex with another person in these small dorm rooms borders on slutty or worse. I was very clear with my D that if she had a roommate who tried to sexile her, she was to fight back. If they went so far as to be intimate in the room while she was there she should stand over the bed and stare at them until they felt more uncomfortable than she did. If that didn't work, she should call me. I was not paying $8K/year for her to have to put up with that crap.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,347 Senior Member
    @twogirls what boyfriend is coming to visit three to four times a year?! What’s that all about? Wasn’t he in college somewhere as well? I never even consiseeed that possibility. I would tell S19 to just say absolutely not. Honestly, I don’t remember so many issues with overnight guests at all when my husband and I were in school. And the folks above who say theie kids are messy and they tried to get them to not be? Geez. Now I’m worried about the roommate situation when I wasn’t before. Who is raising these kids who aren’t respectful of their roommates?
  • techmom99techmom99 Registered User Posts: 3,311 Senior Member
    I didn't go away to school so my only roommate experience was with my sister who was so unpleasant that my parents finally separated us and allowed me to lock my door from the inside at night. After that, I figured any college roommate my kids got would have to be an improvement. My D's first roommate had a slew of nasty girls as friends, who would come into the room and do things like stick D's hairbrush in the fridge. D complained to the RA and the girls were banned from her room and the roommate had to hang out in theirs. D asked for a single the next year. I could not afford the upgrade, so D applied to become an RA and was accepted. She had a single the rest of her time there.

    Middle son was probably that roommate. Although he had always ahared a room at home, he had (at that time undiagnosed) anxiety. He made it through the first year without saying more than 10 words to the poor kid who was his roommate. The second year, he got a roommate who he didn't adjust well, too, and he flipped and started sleeping in the lounge. When D (who was at the same school) told me, I got him moved to a single. Our financial picture had improved slightly and I was able to afford it. I realized at that point that there are some kids who just shouldn't be roommates.

    S17 did the random roommate thing. It has worked out very well and he is with the same kid for the second year. They are thinking about a third year together. They made a deal early on about overnight guests - none. One is straight, the other gay and they decided no guests (other than my other sons, who have visited on occasion) was the way to go. The thing that shocked me the most when I visited is that my son is the neat roommate! He told me his roomie is so messy that he often tidies his side of the room. I see him being neater at home now, too.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,811 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    @homerdog yes the BF went away to school... but schools have different breaks and days off... so he managed to visit 3-4 times a year and stay for a night... never more than one night. My D actually liked him a lot and she really never minded... he really did sleep on the floor...and if she was fine with it and if it didn’t disrupt her life at all... then it really wasn’t my place to interfere. Not only did the roommate not drink, but neither she nor her bf believed in being sexually active before marriage ( she told my D) . so there was really nothing going on at all ...besides him sleeping on the floor.

    As far as being messy... my kid is a huge slob. Everything else about her is so uptight that I guess something has to give! She learned to be neater once she had to share a room, and 2 summers ago when she shared an apartment for 11 weeks she had very little patience for her apartment mates who left dishes in the sink and dirty clothes everywhere etc... but she learned how to handle it.

    We have to let go a little bit ( it’s not easy) and let them solve their own problems and decide what works for them, with guidance from us if necessary.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 1,433 Senior Member
    Last year there was a thread on here where the OP was a college girl whose roommate wanted her out-of-town boyfriend to sleep in the room periodically (I think 2 weekends a month?). It was very interesting to me to read everyone's responses. I would have said that the boyfriend couldn't stay because the rooming arrangement was for 2 people only. Many posters responded that it was the roommate's room also and the roommate had the right to use the room too and have guests. That's what I love about CC, you get to hear different perspectives.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,811 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    I don’t think my daughter would have been ok with 2 weekends a month, but luckily it wasn’t an issue. Regardless, if it was an issue I would have encouraged her to try and work it out with the roommate and RA if needed. Having the bf over 1 or 2 nights per semester... sleeping on the floor... wasn’t a concern for her. It didn’t really matter what I thought, she was the one living it.

    In a perfect world guests would be discussed ahead of time, with both students coming up with a plan that works for both. It’s not a perfect system, problems do arise, and we have to hope that we gave them the tools necessary to work it out... with our guidance as necessary. It’s like training wheels... eventually they problem solve on their own... that’s part of college.
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