Successful roommate relationships can be a challenge. Follow these guidelines to live in harmony:
Establish Rules from the Beginning
Talk about what you like and what you do not like from the start.
- How do you study? With background noise or silence?
- How loud do you like to listen to your music?
- Do you go to bed early or late? What time? Do you wake easily? Do you like to sleep in on the weekends?
- How often do you have guests? Will they stay overnight? What if your roommate wants to host an overnight guest?
- Talk about privacy, and boundaries around personal property.
Make sure that all rules are set from the very beginning and are clear and understood by both of you in order to avoid any disputes that could arise in the future. Your RA has a roommate contract that has already been set up to help you think of things that you might not think about until they are an issue. We recommend using this tool when you first start living with your roommate.
Communication is Key
One thing that can complicate any living situation is lack of communication. If something bothers you or your roommate frustrates you somehow, make to sit down and talk with your roommate regarding your concerns. Choose a time when you both are alone and have time to talk.
Your roommate can’t read your mind, so you have to tell them what’s bothering you. Be respectful when talking about difficult things. Try not to criticize each other or place blame. Using “I” statements is an excellent way to start. Things like, “When you come in late at night, it wakes me up and I am tired the next day.”
Communication also involves praise and compliments; so be sure to give each other positive feedback as well. Make sure you are listening as well as talking. Communication is best when it’s a two-way street.
Compromising is essential whenever two people live together. Each of you has your individuality and preference, so you must learn to meet in the middle in order to create a comfortable living situation. Inevitably you will need to come to a compromise about certain issues such as chores that will get done around the room, when the lights go out at night, or how loud you are able to listen to your music. Compromise is about coming to agreement about issues in a way you both can live comfortably with. Each person must give and take a little to get to a common place.
Remember, none of us is perfect, and most problems do have solutions. If it gets too difficult or you need help finding a workable compromise, remember that your RA and RD are there to help you learn how to communicate effectively, help you find compromise and negotiate difficult topics.
The Residence Life Office assigns living space based upon student responses to the Residence Hall Application. Most of our new residents are assigned roommates whom they meet for the first time on campus. New residents should expect to spend time getting to know each other. Early mutual agreements should be made on such matters as study time, sleep hours, cleanliness, visitors and sharing possessions.
New students may request to be roommates on their Residence Hall Applications. In order for requests to be considered, both individuals must request each other on the form.
Single rooms are not available to new students unless medical reasons require a student to live alone. Students who have special needs should contact the Residence Life Office.