Living with a roommate
Your roommate can help define your college experience. Whether it's an old friend or someone you've never met, having a roommate will give you the chance to learn something new about yourself and about other people.
Most students living in the residence halls will have at least one roommate in their college career. Each room is single sex, so female students will have female roommates, and male students will have male roommates. The most important step is to create a living situation that works for both of you.
Having a good roommate relationship relies on both of you being willing to get to know each other. To keep out the drama, there has to be communication, compromise, and understanding.
- Talk with your roommate early about the expectations you have for each other. Things to discuss include:
- Overnight guests
- Cleaning the room
- Doing the dishes
- Sharing food
- Television, video game, and stereo etiquette
- Quiet times for sleep and study
- Decide early on who will bring what for your room. You won't need two coffee makers, two sets of cookware, and so forth.
- Discuss the rules outlined in the Housing Handbook.
- Decide how you want to hold each other accountable for issues as they arise.
- Don't let things fester, its best to deal with issues as they arise rather than waiting for them to pile up.
- Be honest with your roommate. Tell them when you do or don't like something that is going on in the room.
- Decide early on about when and in what situations you will meet with each other to talk over issues in the room. Try to meet at least once per month just to touch base and more often if necessary.
- Your roommate has the right to read, study, and sleep just like you do. Try to keep noise, guests, and other distractions to a minimum. Ask first before inviting over a bunch of friends.
- Don't borrow your roommate's stuff without asking. Chances are they will be happy to share food or lend you that really nice sweater or game console.
- Check with your roommate about overnight guests. Remember, it is their space too.
- Keep it clean. Nobody likes dirty dishes and dust bunnies. If you feel like you're doing all the cleaning, suggest setting a regular schedule so everyone has some responsibility.
- Personal space is personal space. Respect your roommate's privacy.
- Make sure your guests know and follow the rules you and your roommate have established, as well as the rules of the university. Remember that you are responsible for your guest's actions.
- If you have a problem, talk with your roommate. Try to resolve issues quickly, honestly, and without drawing in people that aren't involved. Don't just stew about an issue, talk about it.
- If you and your roommate can't settle an issue alone, talk to your Resident Assistant. They will do their best to help you resolve issues and have been trained to help in these situations.
- Don't try to be the boss of everything. Treat your roommate as an equals and be ready to compromise.