Housing and Residence Life

Being a Good Roommate

roommates

Living in the Residence Hall and having roommates can be a great experience, but it may take some adjustment. Here are a few ideas to develop good communication with your roommates:

  • Let your housemates know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Lock your doors and windows.
  • Ask before you use your roommate's things.
  • If you damage your roommate's property, please be sure to replace it, as well as apologize.
  • Try to plan a house brunch or dinner once a month.
  • Let your housemates know if you want to have guests over and how long the visit will last.
  • Let your roommates know if you plan to have a large group of people over.
  • Make sure that he or she gets their messages and mail.
  • Work out a system for paying bills to avoid late fees. It may help to mark bill due dates on a calendar along with any other important information.
  • Clean up any messes that you or your guests make.
  • Try to make sure to clean the unit once a week or as often as necessary. It may help to make a chore wheel so that every member contributes equally.
  • Try to keep the noise level down if your roommate is studying, not feeling well or resting.
  • Even if you are good friends, this is still a business relationship, so it is important to honor your obligations in the lease.
  • Try to put agreements in writing. This may help to alleviate future problems. We recommend signing a Roommate Agreement when you first move in (RAs will hand out to apartments during orientation week)
  • Do something nice for him or her once in a while. Remember their birthdays or other holidays, even if it's just giving him/her a card.
  • Treat your housemate, as you would want to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • Discuss differences. Example:  Are you a morning person?
  • Do not engage in conversations with your roommate's parents about their behavior.
  • Do not let your friends use your roommate's possessions.

If you and your housemates are having difficulties:

  • It may be best to confront the problem, when it first arises to avoid future disagreements.
  • Try to take a moment to think if this might be a difficult time for them, like midterms or finals. Things have a way looking better after exams.
  • It may be helpful to list the issues and think about what you're going to say before you say it. Certain words or phrases can enflame the situation and make it difficult to listen to each other.
  • Be reasonable. If your roommate forgets to do a chore, don't get upset, chances are it won't happen again.
  • Try not to accuse your housemate/roommate of anything. If you can, ask questions and try to talk through the difficulties. Your housemate could be feeling the same way as you.
  • Is the problem that is occurring, a mutual problem? Is it the same for both of you? An example is that the living situation is not working for you so you want to move out. The problem is not your roommate's or your problem, it is a common problem, as you agreed to live together. The same problem for both of you is how to end this roommate situation successfully. It is much easier to solve a problem if you are on the same side.
  • Don't discuss problems with friends. This helps to reduce rumors and side conversations.

If you need further assistance, would like to talk about options, such as mediation and/or have questions, talk to an RA or come the Housing Office.