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Office of Undergraduate Admissions

  • Dorm room in Preston. Two beds on either side of the room nicely decorated

6 Tips for Living with a Roommate

Living with a college roommate is a new experience that can be very exciting! Here are six tips to make your roommate experience as great as it can be.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Communication is key when sharing a living space with someone! Being able to have an open and honest conversation will establish a healthy relationship between you and your roommate. It’s a lot better to address an issue early on than to only leave behind passive-aggressive sticky notes or bottle your feelings up until you can’t help saying something you might regret. Share anything with your roommate that they would probably like to know, and be open and willing to listen to your roommate when they want to talk to you as well.

2. Exchange important information with your roommate.

Life can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to share any information you might want your roommate to know in case an emergency were to occur. Consider exchanging emergency contact information along with any severe allergies and/or medical conditions so that you can both be prepared to help each other out if you need to!

3. You don’t have to spend every waking moment with your roommate.

Some people become best friends with their roommates, and others don’t – both are perfectly normal! Either way, it’s a good idea to at least spend some time apart from each other. Go get dinner with another friend, go for a walk, or get involved with a student organization and invest some time in activities outside of your dorm room.

4. Set boundaries at the start of the semester.

When you move in, go ahead and talk with your roommate about what you are and aren’t willing to share in your dorm room. Maybe you want to share closets, but sharing a toothbrush might go too far (a quick note on this: please don’t share your toothbrush!). It’s a good idea to start the year off by respectfully discussing what the two of you want to share as well as establishing what is off-limits.

5. Compromise between your living styles.

Odds are, you and your roommate don’t live exactly alike, so it’s important to discuss how you’re going to make it work while living together. Instead of having a thermostat war between 68 and 75 degrees, talk to your roommate and find something you both can agree on. It’s also a good idea to discuss how you both feel about having guests over and how messy your shared living space can get before it’s too messy. Be realistic and willing to compromise!

6. Get to know each other and have fun!

You’re going to share a room with this person for a year, so you might as well make an effort to get to know each other! You might want to start by reaching out to your future roomie on social media before the school year starts, or maybe you can even meet up in person. Once you get to school, you can find something fun to do together, like binge-watching your favorite Netflix show or grabbing something to eat when you’re both free. You might not become BFFs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy spending some time together!

Sharing a room with someone may seem intimidating, but we hope that these tips help you have a great experience in your future dorm!

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