Living with a Roommate
As exciting as it can be to move into a residence hall, it can also seem nerve-wracking to live with someone new for the first time. That being said, having a roommate can be a wonderful chance to learn about others. Here are some tips for creating a great roommate relationship!
- Be honest and be yourself! Like any new relationship, you'll want to start off on the right foot and be true to who you are. This way your roommate can get to know the real you. If you are open about your own personality, wants, and needs, it's likely that your roommate will open up as well.
- Have an open mind. Not everyone is coming from the same background that you are, in fact most people that you meet while in college will have come from walks of life that are vastly different from your own. Try to be understanding and considerate of others' identities and experiences.
- Set clear expectations from the beginning. You and your roommate will never know exactly what each other is thinking, so you need to be clear about what your expectations are for the shared space. Consider this: who is going to be responsible for taking out the garbage? How late can you leave the lights on at night? Can you borrow each others' belongings? These are important questions, so we recommend discussing these with your roommate soon after you move in. Roommate contracts can be super helpful!
- You don't have to be best friends with your roommate, or even friends at all. We could never expect you to force a friendship with someone when it's not meant to be. However, we do expect that you can build a respectful relationship and share the space that you both pay for. Some roommates do become good friends, others just chat every now and again. Either type of relationship is fine, so long as you are able to communicate with and respect each other.
- When in doubt, talk it out. Just like how you and your roommate are likely to have different lifestyles, you're also likely to have different ways of addressing conflict. No matter what your relationship is with your roommate, conflict is bound to arise at some point. The best way to make sure you get through it is to talk about it.
- Remember, there's always someone here to help! Make sure you get to know your designated Resident Assistants, as they can help when conflict becomes too tough to handle. RAs are specially trained in mediation and conflict management and are always happy to help you work it out.
General Roommate Etiquette
- When you get your room assignment, email your roommate to exchange phone numbers.
- Try to talk to each other on the phone before you text, snapchat, or Facebook message. This way you can communicate clearly with each other.
- Refrain from making judgments based on what their social media looks like. Remember, it probably isn't an accurate reflection of who they are.
- Have an open mind and a positive attitude.
- Set boundaries and expectations and the beginning of the semester in order to avoid conflict.
- If conflict does arise, talk to each other in person about how you are feeling. Your RAs can always help mediate.
- Remember - you don't have to be best friends with your roommate, but you do have to be respectful to each other.