I don’t know my roommate and she doesn’t really talk. It’s so awkward in the room whenever we are together. What do I do?
Truth is, your college roommate isn’t always your best friend. The first thing you have to do is just understand that everyone has varying levels of comfort when it comes to social and living situations. Some people prefer silence. Others love the sound of their own voice. Living with a roommate can make some people really uncomfortable, especially if they aren’t used to sharing a space. When you don’t know your roommate ahead of time, initial awkwardness is natural. Here are some ways you can begin cracking the ice:
1. Initiate conversation
Asking someone about themselves is a great place to start because that’s the subject they know the most about. Try asking about where they are from and if things start to flow maybe move to their most embarrassing story. Keep it lighthearted and stay engaged. Ask questions that make it impossible to give a one-word answer and you are more likely to get the conversation going. If it’s feeling one-sided, give it a rest. You don’t want to overwhelm your shy roommate, so try letting him/her be the one to reach out next time.
2. Establish common ground
Birds of a feather flock together, so your next step is to find something, no matter how small, that you have in common. Maybe you notice that your roommate has a poster of a band you also like. Maybe you both share an insane hatred of cucumbers. You never know! Once you have something you both enjoy talking about, it will be a lot easier to break down those walls of silence.
3. Take matters into your own hands
If you and your roommate are still not meshing, don’t let the awkwardness get you down. Invite your friends over. Open your door. Play music. This will make your room a lot more comfortable place, since it won’t be just you two sitting in silence. Also, you won’t feel the constant need to initiate conversation. Your roommate might want to stay in his or her own little bubble, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your college experience.
Hope this helps. If it doesn’t end up working out, look on the bright side. You’ll always have a quiet place to study! KM
I always get worried about people not liking me. How do I stop caring about what other people think?
This is such a good question. I think it all comes down to your perception of yourself. Is your opinion of yourself based on what other people think of you? If the answer is yes, then you need to do some soul searching and figure out why. In life, we only have control over ourselves. As much as we would like to, we can’t control what others think about us. We can influence their perceptions of us based on what we say and do, but ultimately it is up to them how they decide to think of you.
Sometimes people will place you in a certain box in their mind and there’s nothing we can do to change their mind. Accepting that not everyone is going to like you is shockingly liberating. You can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to agree with the decisions you make in life or what you choose to stand for. That’s okay, because I’m sure there are a lot of people who do! Those are the people in life whose opinions you should care about. The ones who let you be yourself and like you for it.
At the end of the day though, the only opinion that really matters is your own. Do you like yourself? If so, you have nothing to worry about. If you don’t, that’s okay too. You are in some control of changing the things you dislike. Instead of dwelling on the negative qualities about yourself, try to make positive changes in your life to improve your self-opinion.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to help others. I’m a huge proponent of random acts of kindness and believe a little can go a long way. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and make you want to be a better person. Forget about the people who bring you down. Do a little self-reflection, and if you decide you want to make some changes, make sure they are for you and not anyone else. KM
I hooked up with someone over the weekend I totally regret and now he’s in one of my classes. What do I do?
Oh god, I’m cringing for you. Unfortunately at a small school like Albion, this happens more often than you’d think. But before you submit an add/drop form, just relax. Chances are the guy you hooked up is feeling a little uncomfortable too, so here are your options:
1. Sit on the opposite side of the room the entire semester, catch an awkward glance at least once a class period, and avoid contact at all costs. Just kidding. Don’t do that.
2. Talk to him. It’s probably the last thing you want to do, but it will help in the long run. You don’t have to crush the guy’s ego, but be honest about how you feel. Pull him aside after class and acknowledge the tension. Make a joke about how awkward it is and be clear about the way you want future interactions with him to go. For example, you could say, “Listen about the other night…I hope it’s not weird between us. I know it’s a little awkward right now, but I hope that doesn’t prevent us from being friends! What do you think?”
Regardless of the initial conversation’s outcome, don’t let whatever happened between you affect the way you act in class. It shouldn’t. Everyone makes decisions they later on regret. You just have to laugh about it and move on. Address what happened, be upfront about the way you feel, give it a little time and eventually you’ll forget why you were worried in the first place. KM