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Dear Dale,

My roommate and I have very dif­ferent sleep schedules this semester. I unin­ten­tionally wake her up early while getting ready in the morning, and I’m blinded by her desk light when she comes in at night. And on top of that, we hardly ever see each other anymore. How do I fix this logis­tical mess?

-Earlybird Ellie

Dear Ellie,

With a new semester comes a new schedule and sub­se­quently, a whole new set of chal­lenges. Living in tight quarters with another person is hard enough, but the addition of an off-sync routine can make it even more painful. However, this does not have to be the end of your dor­mitory days. You can still remedy this problem without altering your schedule or roommate choice. 

The first step is to talk to your roommate. She may not even realize that you are bothered by her coming back to the room late. You also may be able to extend more grace to your night-owl friend if you can see where she is coming from. However, you should also refrain from over­re­acting. After all, your eight hours of beauty sleep are not really worth com­pro­mising a friendship.

On a more prac­tical note, you and your roommate can des­ignate “quiet hours” in your room to ensure you are respecting each other’s sleep. For example, from 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. the lights stay off and neither of you can play music out loud. It is just another way to ensure you both under­stand and acknowledge the other person’s schedule. 

Finally, I rec­ommend planning pur­poseful friend “dates” in advance to maintain your friendship even when you’re not nec­es­sarily on the same timetable. These do not have to be any­thing remotely com­pli­cated. Just a simple lunch date or planning a time during the week to study up the hill together will do the trick. 

Having a com­fortable living envi­ronment makes the college expe­rience much more enjoyable, and the only way to achieve that is by knowing and appre­ci­ating who you share your space with. 

Your dueling sleep schedules may seem like an unclimbable obstacle, but it only takes a bit of effort on both parts to make living in harmony work. 

-Dale