Tips for Living with Roommates, Part 1

Coughlin, a popular first-year residence hall

March 29, 2022
Current Zags

Audrey Gratzer ‘24 

It is your first year in college and you now have a roommate! This might be your first time living with another person and coexisting with someone. Here are some tips to help live in a positive living environment. My first tip is to learn how to communicate effectively and set up clear boundaries. If you can, discuss what you like and dislike with a roommate so you are able to respect each other’s spaces. If you are on the same page on what you are feeling, then it can lead to less roommate conflicts. My second tip is to design rules together, like setting up responsibilities together. This could be as small as assigning who should take out the trash or something bigger like deciding if you want your room to be a hangout zone to open to your friends. My final tip is to be considerate and keep an open mind. Everyone displays different habits and some of these habits might not agree with yours; if you are able to keep an open mind, you can be a successful roommate. Being respectful of others by having an open mind about it can help make a positive living environment and lead to less roommate conflicts. 

Jensen Kintzele ‘24 

Living with a roommate in college can be both exciting and challenging. It is exciting in that you potentially will have a new friend who you will share fun and unique experiences with. As a result, a roommate can be your best support system and your closest friend if the two of you are a good match. It can also be challenging as not all roommate pairs are bound to get along. For most roommate pairs, it is both your first experiences away from home for a long period of time and, no matter what, you will journey through this experience together. It is up to you to make the most of this experience, so here are some tips. 

To me, the most important thing is to develop a relationship early with your roommate so that they know they have your respect and trust. You can do this by inviting them to meals, joining them in fun activities, and providing a safe, respectful environment in the dorm room. To make sure that you are providing a respectful environment in the dorm room, it is important that you and your roommate establish a set of rules. This may include communicating about what times you go to sleep, what items are off limits to touch, and how you will deal with visitors in the room, among other things. It is arguable that communication is the most important part of your relationship with your roommate, so remember to hear them out and communicate what you need from them. If you can do this, it gives you and your roommate the best chance for a successful first year experience. 

Julie Prestigiacomo ‘24 

Living with a roommate can be tough at times, but there are some sure-fire ways to make sure that your living space remains a happy and relaxing place. It is important to communicate. So many problems or grievances can be avoided if you take the time to communicate with your roommate to discuss what you do and do not like about the living situation. Everyone comes from different homes and different traditions, and many times people have different tolerance levels for certain things like cleanliness. You are sure to have a comfortable living space if you and your roommate are on the same page about what you expect of each other. It is also helpful to have the mindset that your room is a shared space that has the potential to be fun. If you and your roommate can communicate well, and get along, your shared space has the potential to become a place of fun and relaxation. 

Jade Treese ‘24 

When moving to college, there’s a whole array of changes that students must acclimate to—new classes, new people, and, for many, a new city. However, the one that most people fear the most is the change in living situation and having to share a room with someone else for the first time in their lives. Though it seems scary, it’s not as treacherous as one may assume.  The most important thing is laying down boundaries. When is it okay for me to have people over? Should we share each other’s locations in order for us to know that each other is safe? Are you a morning or night person? This communication allows for a much easier transition into a new living environment and mitigates potential roommate quarrels due to lack of communication. Even small things such as when and how often they call their friends is an important one to discuss!