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Honesty key to dorm conflicts


Xiongfeng and his roommates had all fallen asleep in the quiet night.
But then his phone suddenly started ringing loudly and woke everybody
up. One of his roommates was annoyed and Li was not happy about the
disturbance either.


“I didn’t expect such a trivial matter could sour my relationship
with my roommates,” said Li, 20, a sophomore law major at South China
Normal University.

Last week, Fudan University issued a statement regarding the
preliminary police report on the poisoning of a student by his roommate
that shocked the nation.


“Trivial matters in daily life” were blamed for the tragedy, in which 27-year-old Huang Yang was killed.


According to experts, it’s the small things that can cause serious
problems for dormitory relations. As their first lesson at college,
students should learn to compromise when living with their peers and be
tolerant toward them.


Dormitory relations are among the top concerns for students who
enjoyed being the focal point of their family in high school. Only 43
percent of college students in Wuhan, which has more than 1 million
college students, are happy with their dormitory relations, according to
a report by Wuhan Yangtze Business University released in January.


“This communal way of living is new to students, the majority of whom
are single children. Many of them expect people to change for them, not
the other way around,” said Tan Mali, deputy Party secretary at South
China Normal University.


For many students, respecting other’s property and personal space is the foundation to maintain peace in the dormitory.


It can be fixed


Liao Fei, 22, a senior majoring in biology at Peking University,
believes that in a shared space, all roommates should help in keeping
the room tidy instead of placing the burden on just one while the others
do whatever they want.


“Everyone hates dirty places. If you make a mess, don’t leave it for
someone else to clean up. Make sure you do your fair share of dormitory
chores, such as taking out the trash and recycling, and cleaning the
washroom,” said Liao.


No matter what, conflicts are inevitable when living with others for
four years. But a conflict isn’t the end of the world. A serious talk or
even just a joke can fix the problem.


Luo Lisha, 22, a senior majoring in journalism at the Communication
University of China, had an argument with her roommate a while ago.


Instead of burying her feelings, Luo talked with her roommate and they’ve been getting along well ever since.


“Being frank and letting everyone speak their mind is a great way to let off steam,” said Luo.


According to Sun Jianmin, dean of the Psychology Department at Renmin
University, learning to compromise around others is one of the most
important lessons in life.


“Does it really matter if someone’s cup was not rinsed out or if
their computer was left on all night? If it bothers you a lot then bring
it up, but if it’s a small thing – just let it go,” said Sun.


“It’s tempting to vent your frustration on others when things start
to annoy you. But it’s better to talk about it with others in a way they
can accept. Being obsessed with insignificant things only creates more



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