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Sharing dorm can be stressful
( 2003-09-25 09:03) (HK Edition)

Jiang Pin imagined that the four-person dorm at Shanghai University would be a sweet new home.It turned out to be stressful. After he arrived at university, the freshman found plenty to complain about: unenjoyable dorm life, no privacy, a crowded room, and weird roommates.

One of the boys in Jiang's tiny 8-square-metre room is, unfortunately, not very neat.

His boxes are scattered all over the floor. Stereos and CD storage boxes crowd the desktops, even mine,complained Jiang. He talked to him about it a few times and he says he would respect my request, but he didn't keep his promise.?Different schedules also spell trouble. Jiang is used to going to bed early ?the exact opposite of two of his roommates.

One roommate calls his girlfriend at 11 pm every day, and another always plays his music loudly until midnight,he adds.

With only one phone line in the dorm, the phone has also become the centre of disagreements. Who uses it, when, and how often are all issues that keep coming up,he says.

Sometimes, Jiang's only resort is to make his calls from the pay phone on campus.
Jiang considers himself outgoing and, before coming here, never thought that he and his roommates would ever be anything but the best friends.

But, he says, they let him down. Jiang says, no, now I see the dorm room as nothing more than a place to sleep.This is a fairly common campus phenomenon, experts say, and explain that there is in fact a long list of potential disagreements.

Sharing a space requires flexibility. One way to avoid major brouhahas is to agree to a contract? that covers study habits, sleep habits, and neatness, says Guo Lin, an assistant student adviser at Zhejiang University.

The key to successful adjustment, according to Zhang Haitao, a psychology professor at Nanjing University, is positive communication?

Talk through issues before they become problems, he said, with tact and respect, your chances of developing a solid roommate relationship will increase dramatically.

 
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