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Living with Roommates

Roomates - What to Know and Expect of Them

Students sitting on stone wall in the fall

Having a roommate can be an exciting and interesting new part of your life. However, it can also be a growing time for a lot of students, as they learn to live with a new individual and work to understand the other person and resolve issues that may arise. 

There are a lot of resources residential students may use if they need assistance in speaking with their roommate. These resources include:

  • Roommate Contract
  • Resident Assistants
  • Resident Directors

Roommate Contract

Female students in dorm room working together

The first night students are in the residence halls, they meet with the rest of the floor and their assigned RA to get to know one another. Roommate contracts are completed after the first few weeks of living together. This contract is intended to help students settle disagreements and set up some rules for their room. Roommate contracts are designed to wait until roommates have an opportunity to establish class schedules and habits in the room in order to understand what issues may arise throughout the semester.  Students are given one copy of their contract and another copy is kept by Residence Life should it need to be referenced throughout the year. Roommate Contracts may be altered throughout the year as long as both parties agree.

Tips for Handling Roommate Disagreements

Two male students sparring at Spring Jam

Every resident’s first year in college should be about meeting new people, becoming academically successful and building the foundations they will use for the rest of their lives. It shouldn't be about trying to find ways to ignore their roommate or trying to just sleep in their environment. As such, here are some tips to help you resolve any conflicts that may arise with your roommate

  • Wait until you are calm enough to speak to the individual about the subject that is bothering you.
  • Ask your roommate in advance if you can speak to them.
  • Try to find a place that is neutral to you both.
  • Arrange a time where you will both have enough time to get all of your thoughts out.
  • Be direct in speaking about what is bothering you. Gather your thoughts before hand and allow the other person to respond. Often, your roommate may not even realize they are bothering you.
  • Work towards a solution or a compromise. Realize that you will not always get your way, but often times, a compromise can be found.

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