Monday, November 11, 2019

Miscommunication and roommates … a bad mix

Communication. It’s an easy concept, but not everyone does it right.

Communicating effectively with people is a difficult thing to do, yet we do it everyday. I learned this my sophomore year through the mistakes I made. As a senior now, I'm still learning more about it; which is to be honest and open about what I want to say. To build and maintain relationships, it’s important to know how to communicate with people.

Sophomore year, my two roommates and I moved into our first apartment together. We all were so excited. The idea of having our own place with no rules to follow seemed like a dream. We couldn't wait to get out of our shared dorms and finally have a whole apartment right across from campus to ourselves with our own rooms, big kitchen and living room, and most importantly, our very own bathroom.

Over the summer, we constantly talked about what cute decorations we were bringing all the way from painted canvases to stylish throw pillows. We shared dinner ideas we were planning on making like cajun chicken Alfredo pasta, movies we wanted to watch for movie nights, mainly comedy of course, and many other fun activities we wanted to do all year.

A few weeks into the semester is when things started to get weird. One of my roommates and I noticed our food was slowly disappearing, and both of us weren’t eating each other’s food or even our own.

We soon realized it was our other roommate. My roommate and I were annoyed, because we were sharing but she had no snacks or anything in the pantry, so we just assumed she wasn't sharing, but she was still eating our food. To avoid having the awkward conversation of asking her to stop eating our food, we decided to go food shopping and just have her pay her half if she wanted to continue to eat the groceries we got. Well, she didn’t want to pay her half, so it worked out for us that she wouldn't eat our food again since she didn't pay for it.

It was a simple fix just by communicating with her that if she didn't have food herself to share with us, it wouldn't be fair to eat ours. Instead, we had to figure out a whole plan so we would avoid that awkward conversation. I wish I would've known that communicating effectively of course can be awkward, but it can be important for getting the message across.

From this experience, I’ve grown as a person and learned to just be open and honest when communicating with others more importantly, with my friends. Living with other people besides your family is difficult, especially when it’s the first time. You never wanna be “that person” who complains about the dishes, or having to clean, or your food going missing. But when it comes down to it, the only way to solve those problems is to communicate effectively.

Sophomore year was a learning experience for me. I learned instead of being afraid of awkward conversations, to just let someone know if they’re doing something that’s not fair to me, because they might not even know they’re doing it in the first place. This creates an understanding of one another. Effective communication.

If you’re moving into an apartment next year with roommates, definitely have those awkward conversations about how you want to live together and how you’re expecting the year to go. Just so there’s a full understanding of what is expected of each other.

I wish my then roommates and I could've talked about this kind of stuff before dealing with it then and there, and ending up losing friendships because of it. Miscommunication is what ruins friendships, when it's so easy to just sit down and try to understand each other’s feelings. Looking back, I wish the situation was handled better. It set the tone for how the rest of the year was going to go since we didn’t feel comfortable or know how to communicate effectively.

Since then, I’ve been able to learn from this experience of miscommunication by being honest and understanding of other’s thoughts in an effort to prevent situations like this one in the future.

— Samantha Bergan, senior mass communications major and English minor

#BloomOnward #HuskyLife

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