What You Need to Know About Having a Roommate

getting along with roommates

This weekend you’ll be receiving your housing assignment (if you haven’t already!), which means you’ll know who your roommate will be for the 2013-2014 school year.

Okay cool. Now what?

When the semester starts, you and your new roommate will discuss and sign a roommate agreement form given to you by your RA. You might want to think about your preferences in advance, so here are the topics:

Is it okay to have music on? What time will you go to bed and wake up during the week? What about on weekends? How many times is acceptable to hit the snooze button?

Is it okay to have the TV on? When will you be studying? Do you prefer absolute silence? Is it okay to have group study sessions in the room?

Shared vs. Private Belongings
Who can use your TV, DVDs, refrigerator, microwave, printer, gaming systems, etc.? Will you share these things with guests?

Condition of the Room
What does “clean” mean to you? Who cleans or vacuums? When? What’s a comfortable room temperature for you? Do you prefer having the windows open or closed?

Is it okay to have guests over while your roommate is studying? Is it okay to have overnight guests during the week, or only on weekends?

In order to have a good living situation from the start, make sure you start fresh. Try not to approach your roommate with any preconceived ideas about seniority or entitlement; you’re both in this together. Besides, your roommate is probably just as concerned about having a roommate as you are, so do your best to be open-minded and friendly.

In the end, it all comes down to communication. Talk to your roommate (not to your friends or other people on your floor) if you have a problem with his/her conduct. And if your roommate approaches you with a problem, try not to get too defensive until you see things from his/her perspective.

A word of advice to those of you who are rooming with someone you’re already friends with: If you’d like to stay friends, communication on these points is equally as important as if you were strangers!

Do you have any suggestions for a happy roommationship?

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