Getting along with your roommate
Chances are pretty good either you or your roommate have had a room to yourself at home. You didn’t have to be concerned about someone else’s need for study time, quiet time, sleep, companionship or the need to be alone once in awhile. Now that you have moved into your new room—and in all likelihood have a roommate—a whole new aspect of college life emerges: getting along with your roommate.
For the nine months of the school year, you will, whether you realize it or not, share your joy, sorrow, excitement, frustration and challenges with someone who you (at this point) may not even know. Getting to know your roommate, and allowing him or her to get to know you, can be a fun, exciting, and yes, sometimes frustrating experience. The relationship you develop with your roommate will be filled with numerous choices that the two of you will have to make. These choices, however, and the process by which you and your roommate make them, are all part of the college experience. We want your residence hall living experience (including your relationship with your roommate) to be a good one.
Tips for tough situations
- Be realistic.
- Don't expect your roommate to always be your constant companion. Continuous close contact can strain even the best of friendships.
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Discuss potential areas of conflict.
- Be open to compromise.
- If necessary, make a list of ground rules concerning issues such as music and visitors. This will lessen the chance of arguments over simple misunderstandings.
- If your roommate is doing something you don't like, express your feelings. It's usually better to air concerns immediately. Don't store up a lot of petty grievances- they will grow into a major problem.
- Remember your RA is here to help.
- Although most RA's prefer that residents try and work out disagreements on their own first, they are always available to help mediate serious conflicts.
- Know your rights as a resident. You have the right to:
- Sleep and relax in your room.
- Read and study in your room, free of interference.
- Have control over your personal possessions.
- Have free access to your room.
- Have a clean, safe environment in which to live.
Tips for finding a roommate
- Make it a point to meet people at orientation. A lot of people find their first roommate there; you may too.
- Spend time talking with your roommate before coming here. Get together if you can. It's nice to have some type of personal connection before you move in together.
- Just because you are best friends doesn't mean you will be best roommates
- Be honest when you fill out your roommate agreement. Plan for the future; talk about what you will do or say if things change.