College Tip #3

*Know how to appropriately set boundaries.




In your time at college, you will encounter many types of people. They will have their own set of beliefs, customs, norms and habits. Knowing how to appropriately set boundaries will help you communicate with your roommates and others what your rights are and how you would like to see them being respected.

Let’s use food as an example. This is huge one. I had a roommate in college who asked to borrow my food, but only after she had used it. She had a boyfriend who liked to eat and would often run out of ingredients to make for the cakes, cobblers, and cookies she would make him. She knew I had a lot of the ingredients and so she took them and then told me about it after-the-fact. One time she used my spagetti sauce and told me that she was going to buy me some new sauce and then bought herself some instead. I asked her about it and she denied ever owing me sauce stating “why would I buy you sauce?”. (Belittling is often a tactic for people who disown responsibility. Don’t mind it ,and restate your point)


I know this example seems elementary, but the principle is there. Here is where a basic right to own my food was being violated and I ignored it. I should have reminded her of her promise and appropriately said something like “I know it is important to you to be able to use my ingredients to make things for ____ but I buy my own groceries and it makes me upset to know you would use my things without asking.”

Make it about how you feel, not about how awful they are. You should never use YOU statements. You have a much stronger presentation if you say things like “I feel this way when this happens”.


Yay for assertiveness!


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