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Until I started attending college I was able to avoid doing one thing my entire life, sharing a room. Having a roommate never even crossed my mind when I was growing up living in my own space. Then I got to the University of Colorado and started the tedious task of sharing a tiny room with another person while doing your best to stay on good terms with your roommate.

One of the most exciting days as a senior in high school is that one email that comes late in the second semester that tells you who your roommate will be for the upcoming year. In this day and age you are able to check the person’s name on social networking sites like Facebook, along with shoot them an email with some basic information about yourself. It’s a funny feeling just reading a name off a piece of paper and it took me a while to grasp the fact that this was the person that I would be spending my entire first year of college with.

On the first day of college the first person you usually meet is your roommate and at first it was a little awkward as my roommate and I started to learn about each other. When you are living with someone in such a small space there is no escaping them or going into a different room. The best thing to do is try to find a shared interest and go from there.

In most cases your roommate isn’t going to call you out on any activity that they don’t like during the early days of college. However as time goes on and you start to learn every detail about each other you start to feel more comfortable voicing your opinion. This is a delicate time as sometimes one roommate might be offended by what the other person has to say.

What I have learned is its easiest to just talk the problem out and try to find a solution because in the end the request the other person made probably wasn’t unreasonable. When you are living by yourself you make all the rules and everything is exactly how you want it. However I have learned through having a roommate those compromises are necessary and you can’t expect everyone to have the same view as you do. This was a valuable lesson that got me through many arguments that could have gotten worse if we refused to compromise.

Having a roommate is something I believe college students should be required to experience their freshman year. This is the practice that most colleges choose to participate in and after spending several months at college I can’t help but agree. You learn valuable lessons about communication and also are given the opportunity to make a friend right off the bat on day one. Having a roommate might not seem like an ideal situation but you quickly warm up to the situation and hopefully make the best of it.

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