If you ask any soon-to-be first year: what are you most concerned about living in residence? The answer will almost always be: roommates. Will I like them? Will they like me? What if we don't get along? What if they're super messy? Or worse, super clean?
While there are stories about roommate misadventures out there, for the majority of students in residence, roommate and floor mate relationships become the most valued part of the experience. There are 3 myths you need busted to be ready to accept your room assignment and later, move in.
True or False?
1. Having a roommate is the worst. Single room or nothing.
False. Talk to first-years before they move in and again after they move out of residence 8 months later, their views have often changed. While a single room in a suite might be considered the most desirable living arrangement before moving in, our research shows that students in traditional-style residences are much more satisfied with their first-year experience. Why? Simple. Traditional-style residences offer lots more opportunities to make friends and build networks. It is these personal interactions that create a memorable first year experience (not granite countertops! #sorrynotsorry)
2. Having a roommate you don’t know is worse than the worst. Hey Facebook, anyone need a roommate?
False. Although it may seem like everyone else knows somebody coming to Waterloo, majority of roommate pairs don’t know each other before meeting in residence. Some go on to become best friends forever, literally. Connecting on social media is one way to meet your roommate but remember that this is not the same as knowing someone. Even if your roommate to be has been your best friend since you were 5, people grow and change during first year. Whether you have met your future roommate in person, digitally, or not at all, avoid making assumptions on what life with that person will be like. Come ready to share your likes and dislikes, interests and hobbies. Be open-minded, and you’ll find something in common.
3. If I don’t get along with my roommate, my first year is doomed.
False! There’s no denying that some roommates may not get along – personality and interests are different, schedules don’t align etc. In residence, we don’t shy away from the tough stuff; we support you through it. Your Don and residence life staff will encourage you and your roommate to create a roommate agreement at the beginning of the year. This agreement gives you a chance to clarify expectations and learn how you can both make the experience a fun, and memorable for one another. If challenges come up along the way, the residence life team will mediate and support you until a resolution can be found. We’ve been doing this a long time and with support, even conflicting roommates can come to a place of mutual respect.
Feeling a little less anxious? We hope so because the wait is nearly over! Beginning the week of July 10, Waterloo Residences begins releasing residence contracts and room assignment information through your @edu.uwaterloo.ca account. You will also be able to see your who your roommate is if your roommate gave permission to release their information. Remember, some students will receive a room assignment and contract later in August so keep checking your UWaterloo email and be sure to accept your contract before the deadline!
Share these myth-busting tips with a friend!