#DormLife: When I Don’t Get Along With Girls On My Hall
When everybody just can't get along.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
There are times when I wonder why I can’t get along with everybody. Dorm life, with its close living quarters and buzzing social life, was the perfect stage to showcase what I regarded as my woeful inability to become best friends with every person I meet. While some of my best friends did, in fact, come from my hall Freshman year, the act of actually living with those sometimes messy and often wonderful people was hard. The good news is I learned an insane amount about relationships from those experiences! A sweet nugget of wisdom that has carried me through some challenging relationships is this…
A lot of the conflict, loneliness, and awkwardness you feel is inevitable.
This comes as the result of a group of young adults living together that all come into college with their individual expectations of what their future relationships should look like. Each person you share a hall with grew up in a different family and place and, as a result, each person deals with vital life things like friendship (and sleep patterns) in ways that may seem completely foreign to you. The funny thing is, they are just as sane as you are… they (like you) just have different definitions of sanity. While 1:30 AM may seem like a reasonable time to go to bed for one person, another may have come from a family where 10:00 PM meant lights out.
Because of these differences in the way people view relationships, it’s safe to say that every relationship has conflict. Nobody gets along with everybody. Move your mind away from the two or three perky people you’re thinking about right now as a counter argument. Just trust me on this one. Particularly on small Christian campuses, friendly and universally appealing people abound. This leaves the not-so-bubbly people wilting and wondering why they can’t make friends like so-and-so. These differences in personality types, all of which are genuine and worthy of friendship, are often the cause of conflict. My first year, I regarded some girls on my hall as completely, utterly different from me. Think: Tall, athletic girls who wore sport socks with sandals. Our conflict wasn’t an actual fight, but it was a conflict in interests. My subconscious avoidance of them because of our differences prevented what could have been some truly enlightening friendships.
Since we all come from such distinct backgrounds, it makes sense that some conflict is normal, even healthy. You can’t argue with someone you don’t interact with. In a way, conflict is a sign that you’re actually partaking in interpersonal relationships. You’re talking to people! You’ve made it to College: Level 2. But also remember that when you just can’t seem to click with the girls on your hall, you are still capable of solid relationships. One great option is to invest your time and energy into creating a tight group outside of your dormitory! For every interest you have there are at least ten other people interested in some of the same things you are. Offering your talents to the wider pool of college activities is also one of the best ways to sharpen your awesome skills. You may not get everything you try for, but I can guarantee that you will make some friends along the way.
You and I will never be able to befriend every person who crosses our paths and often, it is the people closest to us in the dorms that are the hardest to accept. The key to relationships is to not just be friendly, but to have a genuine interest and patience with those around you. Personal differences can’t stop a patient person from making friends, even when those friends can see all your dirty laundry… Literally.