Tips for Building a Healthy and Successful Roommate Relationship
Get to Know Each Other
Get to know your roommate by attending on-campus events together, going to see a movie or eating meals together. By setting aside time, you will begin to understand each other better; understanding each other is the first step in building a healthy roommate relationship.
Be Patient & Give it Time
Not everyone can form instant friendships or relationships. Take the time to get to know each other. The Residence Life staff suggests giving yourself at least three weeks before you decide you cannot live with someone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create long lasting friendships.
Be Open Minded
You and your roommate may be very different. People communicate differently, so make a genuine effort to open up to your roommate. Keep a positive attitude and an open mind; you will discover there is much to be learned from someone whose background, culture, values and interests are different than your own.
In order to avoid frustration, discuss your expectations with your roommate. Keep in mind you may have to compromise with your roommate; it is normal for roommates to have different expectations. Some topics to address are study habits, sleep schedules, items for sharing, items for personal use, visitation and room up-keep.
Sometimes a roommate may just be having a bad day. Listen to your roommate and be understanding; sometimes listening is the best way to find the root of the problem. Living with a roommate and college, in general, is a new adjustment period for everyone. Give your roommate the benefit of the doubt before criticizing his/her actions.
Talk It Out
Most problems can be solved with communication. Do not let problems build up. Talk openly and honestly about concerns with your roommate. Just remember timing is everything. If you know your roommate is having a bad day, hold off until an optimal opportunity for addressing the situation arises.
Give Each Other Space
Sharing a room is a big adjustment for many people. Even if you are best friends, always being together may be too much of a good thing. You will both need alone time. Most of the time roommates have different class schedules; but, if you don’t have a natural “break” from each other, talk about creating one.
Ask Before You Borrow
Everyone has a comfort level for sharing items with roommates. Always ask before you borrow something; it will help avoid roommate frustration. Also, remember that just because your roommate has let you use something in the past, he/she may not want you using it all the time.
Schedule Study Times
Let each other know in advance when important events (papers, projects, tests) are coming up. With advanced notice, your roommate may be able to make other plans in order to give you some quiet time.
Not all roommates become best friends, but most naturally learn how to get along with each other. In the unlikely event you have an unbearable living situation, contact your Area Coordinator to discuss the room change process.