College Roommate 101

Living with someone else can be very challenging, especially if you have never met the person and did not have much say on who you would be living with. Colleges and Universities will try to match you up with your ideal roommate, but living with someone else while you are figuring out how to be a college student can still be challenging. Here are three tips to help you and your new roommate have a successful first year of school.

  1. Be brutally honest when you fill out your housing and roommate forms. The form will ask questions about your study, sleeping, and social habits. Make sure that you explain precisely how you are and exactly how you hope your roommate will be. For example, if you are a morning person, explain that you will get up early, which means that you will want the lights off by 9:00 pm. If you can’t fall asleep until your roommate is also trying to fall asleep, then specifically say that. Many roommate arguments happen over the use of space and how you both schedule your time in your room. So, do your best to specify your needs and wants.
  2. Create a roommate contract. Some schools automatically require these within the first week of school, but if your school does not require it, do it anyway. These roommate contracts will help you discuss how you will use your room and what your schedule will look like. If you do not want your roommate to borrow something without asking, make sure it is in the contract. Say that if you want the room quiet by 9:00 pm on school days.
  3. Living with someone and sharing space is all about compromise. You might not like the same tv shows as your roommate, but that’s okay, discuss times when you can use the tv and when your roommate can use the tv. If something is non-negotiable for you or your roommate, then make sure that is something you write down in your roommate form and roommate contract.

Living with someone is all about communication. Learning how to communicate with someone can be difficult, but following the above steps should help. If you are having problems with your roommate, like they are going against the agreed-upon contract, or putting yourself or themselves in physical, emotional, or mental harm, then tell someone. You have a Resident Advisor/Community Advisor (RA/CA) for a reason. Set up a meeting with them to discuss your concerns, and they should be able to advise you on how to handle the situation or explain the process for switching roommates if it comes to that. It is okay if your roommate does not become your best friend, but if you learn how to communicate and share a space with someone, you should have a successful yea