As I begin to think about potentially returning to Disney, I've thought of a few things I want to try to improve my roommate situation. During my last program I had a lot of struggles with roommates. A lot of the issue was that I didn't have time to pick my roommates but mostly that I avoided confrontation. Looking ahead I want to avoid that this time. First of all I want to pick roommates, carefully. After that, I have some creative ideas to help foster a more encouraging and kind environment. Many of these ideas come from a little over a year ago when I participated in the Navigators' Summer Training Program (STP) in Colorado. I had the chance to live with my bible study leader and the two other girls in my bible study. It was the best roommate situation I've ever been in, and there were four of us in one room!
One of the things I did with my STP roommates was every week we made time to say something encouraging about each other person in our bible study. I also did this with some of my campers this summer and they loved it! During my last program, my friend Bailey did this too. Everyone in her apartment had a plastic bag that everyone would put encouragement notes into. I would love to buy mason jars and decorate them for each person and keep a basket of scrapbook paper cut into fun shapes. Decorating the jars would be fun for roommate gifts or as a roommate bonding activity before we can get into the parks. I like this idea because thinking of ways you can encourage others, even though they might get on your nerves, helps you to look at people in the best light.
During STP we made time to have dinner together before bible study every week. This worked because we all were guaranteed Tuesday and Thirsday nights off, that won't be the case at Disney, but I have some ideas to try to make it work. First, I'm going to request Sunday and Wednesday night's off as soon as I can so I can go to Mosaic and Cru. Maybe my roommates will request one or the other too so we could have family dinner before one of those. Another idea, and probably the most practical, is to look at schedules every week and pick a day and time, even if it's super late at night or early in the day. That being said, family brunch would also be fun! I want this to be potluck style, maybe with a sign up for things like entree, dessert, and sides posted on the cork board to get everyone excited for the meal! It would also be fun to try out some Disney restaurants and character meals for family dinner once in a while!
The Navigators has a relational covenant, which I've gotten to live with both at STP and at camp this summer. Living by the relational covenant helps foster good relationships, and I've seen great results from it in my life. Looking back at past roommate issues I see how they could've been avoided by living by the relational covenant. The relational covenant is:
The source of a lot of my roommate issues last time was disagreements on chores. The biggest issue was that we didn't establish rules on chores right away. I'd like to create a cute way of assigning chores. I'd also like to establish clear expectation for each chore including when they need to be completed and what exactly it entails. Maybe I'll do some more research and post some chore chart ideas in another post!
during my last program one of my favorite things was visiting my friends in 2515, they always invited everyone over, and I'd love to be able to do that this time around, I want roommates that are okay with that. I also really want to host bible study in my apartment. I would like to establish clear boundaries on this issue though, and post them on the wall for all our guests to see. Boundaries make it easier for those who don't want to have company over as well as for everyone to feel more comfortable inviting friends over without upsetting the other roommates.
What are your tips, ideas, or worries about living with roommates?