Housing & Residential Life
Getting Along with your Roommate
Getting to Know Your Roommate(s)
Hopefully, you have had an opportunity to talk with your roommate(s) before moving into the residence hall/apartment complex. It is important that you spend quality time with your roommate(s) during the first couple weeks of school, getting to know each other, talking about how you are going to live in the room, what the “house rules” for the room are, and whether you will attend welcome activities together.
Even if you know the person(s) you are living with, it is important to have these discussions. Living with someone can be quite different than being friends in the past. It can be an opportunity to deepen your friendship(s), but this new situation can also create challenges. It is important to maintain open communication with one another.
Living With a Roommate
The key to getting to know your roommate is communication. You can’t discover who he or she is unless you take the time to find out. We suggest you take some time right after you both move in just to sit down and find out about one another. Two strangers placed together may not always get along. It is not mandatory that you become best friends. It is not even expected that all roommates will be friends. But it is essential that you respect each other and try to get along.
Shortly after you move in, you will have the opportunity to sit down with your roommate(s) and a Community Advisor (CA) to discuss a formal roommate agreement. This is a prescribed tool that will review areas such as academic/study needs, sharing, sleeping patterns, cleaning expectations, communication, room/possessions security, and guests. All first year students will have a CA facilitate this roommate agreement. We encourage residents to revisit this document after living with each other for a few weeks (as personal habits tend to change after living in campus housing for the first time).
If a conflict cannot be resolved through open communication and/or mediation with a CA, then the Residence Director, in consultation with the Assistant Director of Residential Life will make a decision about possible moves.
While you may desire a room transfer to avoid the differences you have with your roommate, it is important to know that due to high occupancy, most room transfers cannot be considered until the end of first semester.
Items to Consider When Issues Arise
- Develop patience and understanding of your differences
- Do not make quick judgments; get to know them
- Be a good listener; see their point of view
- Talk to your roommate about issues that concern you
- Do not let petty grievances accumulate
- Be assertive; not aggressive or passive aggressive
- Change the changeable and accept the unchangeable
- Remember the good qualities the other person has
- Make compromises
- Remember a CA can be a neutral mediator
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