It has been said that good fences make good neighbors. Fences, though, are not an option for on-campus residents, who wish to isolate themselves and gain total privacy. Fortunately, less privacy raises the possibility of meeting new people and establishing a neighborhood community.
Living among neighbors has the potential to be a positive experience. Although some neighbors may have been associated with annoyances, such as nosiness and booming stereos. This is merely an exception and definitely not the standard. Healthy neighborhood relationships enhance the enjoyment of the residential experience and often develop into friendships.
Community seems to start with an individual. Individuals can not expect stellar neighbors unless they demonstrate positive qualities themselves. Are you willing to accept this challenge? Stick to these five simple rules for living in harmony and you will become the type of neighbor everyone wishes they had.
1. Do not be a stranger.
Some students spend an entire year in a dorm room or an apartment without ever meeting the person who lives on the other side of their own wall. Step outside your own territory, knock on their door and introduce yourself. Make an effort to remember their name and say hello when you see them around campus.
2. Be courteous.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, you are surrounded by fellow students. Keep in mind that you may have neighbors above, below and to the side of you. Rearranging furniture and watching movies with surround-sound should be limited to daytime hours. Rocking out to tunes is an acceptable way to relax at the end of the day; however, this does not give you the license to boom the volume at an excessive decibel. Simply, be aware of your surroundings.
3. Help out.
Extend a helping hand. Before you take your trash to the dumpster, offer to take your neighbor’s, as well. If you see your neighbor struggling with groceries, help them out.
4. Be hospitable.
An unexpected act of kindness is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day. Go above and beyond the call of a harmonious neighbor. Gather your roommates for a baking party and deliver the treats to those living around you. Invite your neighbors into your space to eat dinner, to have a study party or to watch the latest episode of your favorite television show.
5. Do not hover.
Nobody appreciates a nosy neighbor. Although it is encouraged to say hello and to stop by every now and then, it is also important to maintain personal boundaries. Remember that you are a neighbor, not an additional roommate. Do not snoop into personal affairs, knock on the door in the middle of the night or enter unless invited. If you have modeled courtesy and hospitality, your neighbors will know that you are there for them, whether you remind them incessantly or not.