Lessons Learned from Former Roommates Abroad

You don’t have to literally be able to understand each other

A language barrier doesn’t stop you from leaving a snack on your roommate’s desk for them or medicine on their night stand, when you can tell that they are sick. My Hungarian flatmate did this for me while I was studying abroad in Romania and I still think back on that fondly.


Kindness crosses borders

Find a way to communicate, even if that means both of you are communicating in a language that is not your mother tongue. If you can find a way to do this, you can show each other things, teach other about the other’s country and culture, share and grow together.


Stop apologizing for the things you can’t help

If you ask your roommate repeatedly to speak their mother language at a speed and in a manner in which you can better understand and they refuse to do so and / or even worse, insult you for it, don’t, I repeat, don’t apologize for your underdeveloped skills. Remember you tried, it’s not your fault they don’t want to or have the patience to.


Don’t waste too much energy on other people

Feeling sad or stressed at the hands of other people takes up a lot of energy. It is not worth it to diminish your energy and health over people that don’t matter. Focus your energy on yourself, be happy with yourself, and then surround yourself with the few that give you energy and make you happy.


The majority of beauty and minor health problems have a natural solution

It usually entails the use of some kind of citrus fruit.


Ourselves are many people in one

We are all capable of getting along with many different types of people. We are adaptable, we naturally find ways to relate.


Our insignificance is reassuring

Remind yourself of how many people are on the planet right now, think about how many people were on earth before you, and how many that will come after you, when you remind yourself of these things, you will realize how insignificant you are – not to mention the vast majority of your problems. Understanding our individual insignificance helps us to focus our time on the people, things and ideas that really matter.

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