How to be a good roommate

Your university experience can be a significant time in your life when you will face challenges and learn more about your personal identity Living in residence is a great way to expand your perspective as you’ll navigate making new friends, managing your academics, and settling into a new living environment. This transition away from your home comforts and the adjustment to living with others can be overwhelming.

First, roommate relationships 101 is a great place to start with 4 tips shared from a student’s perspective. Our Campus Housing team would like to support your success by providing you a few more tips on how to be a good roommate. We hope that these guides will help you make the most out of this aspect of your student experience and you begin to create long lasting relationships while living with roommates.  

Get to know one another

Start by getting to know one another in the first few weeks of the term; have dinner together, explore campus buildings, or find an activity that you both enjoy. Having conversations about lifestyles and habits are easier when you have a better understanding of who your roommates are and this can help create strong relationships which will help you navigate any challenges you face together. While you don’t need to become best friends with your roommates it helps if you can spend some time early in the term getting to know one another.

Communication is essential

When it comes to little things it’s best to address them early. Don’t let things build up because that’s when things can get negative. Instead, talk about things when you notice them! If you notice that your roommate isn’t cleaning the kitchen on their scheduled dates, have a chat with them to make sure things are OK and the schedule still works for them. If your roommate is making a lot of noise during quiet hours for a couple days in a row, check in with them. Be open-minded and be willing to share and learn to grow together.

Compromise is key

You and your roommates will likely have different and similar preferences on your living spaces. Disagreements are normal. While you may have a clear understanding of what you want and need out of your residence experience, recognize that you’ll be living with other people who might have other needs and wants. Compromise will be key to helping everyone stay on the same page and will help all of your roommates feel like you’re all contributing to each other’s success.


Create a roommate agreement

A roommate agreement can be a tool to help you and your roommates understand each other’s preferences and work towards a cohesive plan. A roommate agreement can help get everyone on the same page about topics like socializing, noise, cleanliness, habits, and other important lifestyle choices. Creating this baseline understanding of what each of you are going to do will help towards ensuring your entire suite has a positive residence experience.

Ask your Don for additional support

Your Residence Life Don can help you and your roommates connect if you need support developing a common understanding of each other’s lifestyles. While your Don can help facilitate a roommate agreement it is important to recognize that living in a shared living environment is all about compromise and coming to a common understanding of what each roommate needs to be successful.


Roommate FAQ