‘Tis The Season: 6 Tips For Roommate Management

September 20, 2016 by  

These are the weeks when college students move into dorm rooms and apartments. Freshman are the newest people at sharing close quarters. Everyone moves in with high hopes and good intentions, but…. Years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I moved into Towers dormitory at Boston University, I had incredibly high expectations for a warm, long-lasting friendship with my freshman roommate.  We never go close to that goal – in fact, eventually we stopped short of being civil – and I was way more than 50% to blame. I’ve thought about it a lot in the years since…

so here are  tips that may help you (or a freshman you love) to begin with awareness and intention.

  1. You have all sorts of expectations, whether you know it or not. Try to bring them into your awareness so you can deal with them.
  2. Keep assumptions to a minimum; deal with reality.
  3. Keep lines of communication open.  Don’t assume, ask.  People are different and you can preempt problems by communicating well.
  4. Talk about problems as they arise, while they are still small.  Don’t let them build up until they boil over.
  5. It is okay if you are not alike.  Concentrate on each other’s strengths, not each other’s weaknesses.
  6. Be intentional about how you intend to use the room.  Have a meeting; have them regularly if you need to.  When you get clear plans about sleep, noise, visitors, and all the other things that shared space requires, you have a framework to depend on. Later, you can diffuse arguments by going back to your plan.   Good luck

The Internal World Of The College Student

August 17, 2011 by  

The college years, from approximately 17-21, have some definite psychological characteristics. The overarching dynamic is a shift from internal to external.  Specifically, this is what I mean:

  1. Young people are transitioning from home (and all that goes with it) to a wider world with more diversity of choice and less adult supervision.
  2. Young people are distancing from parents (not abandoning, just loosening the ties) and gravitating to other love relationships.
  3. Many of the upheavals of adolescence have quieted down and they feel less scattered (consolidation of the self) so they increasingly move to use this self to engage with others.
  4.  Their identities feel more established than ever before so they are able to try out this more stable identity in work, play, career choice, friends and love.

I hope that this helps parents to understand what their college age kids are going through – and maybe some college blog readers can gain a bit of insight (does it ring true?).

If you are an early career therapist, you will find “What Do I Say?” an essential addition to your professional library.  you can order it at http://www.amazon.com