Freshmen moving away from problems is not the answer

by The Simpsonian Staff

This year, Residence Life is giving freshmen another option when it comes to housing. There will be a reassigning of roommates for those who wish to exchange a current living mate for another. This housing change is due to lower enrollment this year, and according to Residence Life, the program has been successful at other colleges.

Question: Why do freshmen get to opt out of handling roommate conflicts when other students must deal with issues as real adults? It appears that first years are getting off the hook when it comes to handling the challenges of living with other people. Instead of communicating and problem solving with roommates, first years can simply whisk problems away like last week’s leftover pizza.

As much as Residence Life is trying to accommodate the “needs” of newbie students, granting approval to turn away from problems is entirely the opposite of what making an adjustment to college life is all about. Not everything can be spoon fed to these kids. “Room swap” allows picky freshmen get their way when they need to suck it up, be adults and handle their problems on their own.

We’ve all had roommate issues, and they’re annoying. Whether you walk in on your roommate and her boyfriend, or if your roommate won’t stop playing video games [loudly] when you’re trying to sleep: We’ve all been there. The last thing you want to do is have a confrontation with someone you barely know. But if you’re living in the same space, you’re going to have to compromise. Set up a system of communication that works for both roommates. Put a sock on the door. Send warning texts or have scheduled quiet times. Whatever the issue, first years need to be able to learn how to handle roommate conflicts just like the rest of us did as freshmen.

At some point, freshmen are going to have to deal with conflicts on their own, and not take the easy way out. Living with people is a learning experience and is part of what it means to grow up and be self-sufficient. If you can’t learn to live with other people, things are only going to get more difficult as time goes on.