Me and my current roommate Darlene having fun (after doing our homework!)

One of my greatest fears when deciding to come to college was living with a roommate. My fear did not revolve around having to share a room, since I’ve shared a room with my siblings my entire life; I was more concerned with whether or not I would get along with my roommate. (In case you are wondering, my college has a limited amount of single rooms, which are usually occupied by seniors.) I’ve had two roommates in the past two years and, luckily, everything has turned out just fine.

Since I had no friends from home attending Holy Cross with me, I had to complete a Roommate Questionnaire before freshman year that asked me about my living preferences. Based on my answers, I was randomly assigned with a roommate in a freshmen dorm hall (Wheeler!). We quickly added each other on Facebook and started sending messages back and forth in an attempt to get to know one another before schools started. We lived together throughout the entire year and I got along with her very well. Although we are no longer roommates, we still remain friends. 🙂

This year, I live in Clark (Sophomore dorm) with my friend, Darlene. She lived three doors down from me in Wheeler last year and since we had a class together we instantly bonded. We spent a lot of time together and I have to admit that I would not have had such an amazing freshmen year if it weren’t for her friendship. Whether it was doing homework in the library, sledding on top of plastic bin containers (when we should have been studying for finals!), going around taking silly pictures, or randomly walking around campus with footed pajamas and masks on, we always had an amazing time. It was obvious that we should dorm together our sophomore year.

Our only fear about rooming together was whether it would negatively affect our friendship. Rooming with a best friend is hit or miss. It can either go very well or it can be a complete disaster. The last thing I wanted was for our friendship to be strained because we were not good roommates. Luckily, rooming together did not ruin our friendship and we are still good friends. 🙂

Many students who will be freshmen in the fall have the same fear I did when I was a freshman. I can assure you that everything will turn out fine. If there is any problem that cannot be resolved by talking it out, you can always seek out your Resident Assistant or Resident Director for advice or (in dire circumstances) request a roommate change. So don’t sweat it!

Until next month,

Kristie

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Hey everyone,

If you read my first blog post, you will know how hectic my week was days before Spring Break. I am happy to say that I survived—thinking back on it, I don’t even know how! But this does not mean that school is now suddenly calm; I have two papers and an assignment due tomorrow and I have more exams coming up within only a matter of weeks. With all of the work students in college have to handle, it is not surprising that most of them are overly stressed. I am no exception.

One of the biggest battles I struggle with during school is trying to figure out how to maintain my sanity. Dealing with family and relationship problems, health issues, and financial difficulties are only a few of the things college students have to deal with. On top of all that, we have to worry about exams, papers, and a ton of assignments. Although I am currently finishing my second year in college and I am not as wise as the seniors when it comes to this topic, I have been able to learn so much about ways to cope with stress in an environment like this (especially since it is often talked about in Psychology, my major). Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Talk to your professors: This is probably one of the most important things college students should do but don’t take the time to do (including me until this semester). Talking to your professors can reduce an enormous amount of stress, especially if you are unable to understand a concept or even if you completely bombed one of the exams. It is amazing how sympathetic and encouraging a professor can be when you just take the time to communicate!

2. Reach out to others: Pretty much everyone on campus is on his or her own with no siblings or family members to rely on. I learned that, for me, I need to have support from others since my family is not around. Professors, faculty, friends, and roommates can contribute greatly to helping you out when you need to talk with someone. I’ve noticed that one of the biggest supportive relationships someone can have on campus is through their roommate (I will blog about my roommate experiences next month!). Having someone you can vent to and someone who understands you is so helpful and can reduce the amount of stress that you feel.

3. Take time for yourself: I struggle with this so much! In fact, I almost never do things for me. I’ve noticed that a lot of people who have already gone through the college experience stress how important this is. Even joining a weekly club or a sports team is very beneficial. College should be a time to get good grades, but also a time to have fun and enjoy life! I vow that I will start spending more “me time” from now on.

My advice seems like common sense (and it is!), but when you are in college you suddenly seem to lose track of the little things that you can do in order to make your life much easier.

Wishing you all a stress-free month,

Kristie

PS: I mentioned how I am planning to blog about my roommate experiences for next month. Please, please, please let me know (in the comments section) if there is anything you would like to hear about regarding my college experiences.

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