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Tips for Living with a Roommate

Tips for Living With a Roommate

Learning how to effectively manage the roommate relationship is an essential skill for every resident. Not only will it make living with roommates during your years at Spelman easier, it also prepares you in many ways for when you begin your professional career.

Here are a few tips to create a positive roommate experience.

Roommate Agreement
Clear Communication from the Beginning: Use your Roommate Agreement to set the guidelines for communication. Effective communication is important because as roommates you will be sharing a space for a long amount of time, and you'll need to respect each other's needs and preferences. Don't assume that your roommate will just figure out all of your wants and needs; communicate those needs, preferences, and expectations as soon as possible! Your RA is also available to help you with this process.
Mountains Mole Hills
Do Not Let Small Problems Fester: Solve problems while they're still small; don't wait until the problems are enormous! If your roommate is doing something that is bothering you, address them in a calm and friendly manner. After all, your roommate may not even be aware that there is a problem. It's much easier to solve a problem when it is small.
Stop Touching My Stuff
Your Roommate's Items Are Your Roommate's Items: Do not assume they will not mind if you borrow their belongings; they probably will. Always ask for permission before borrowing or using anything that belongs to your roommate!
Lock the Doors
Lock The Doors: Locking the doors and windows is important for keeping you and your property safe. Remember: it is not just your own stuff that you are protecting, it is your roommate's as well. Always carry your keys, even when you are in the bathroom.
College Roommate Tips
You Might Not Be BEST Friends: Be pleasant and friendly with your roommate, but respect each other's space. Trying to force a best-friend relationship will only cause strain and discomfort for both of you. Be friendly, but make sure you each have your own life and your own social circles.
Keep an Open Mind
Keep an Open Mind: Your roommate may have a background very different from yours. They may be from another culture, and may have an entirely different lifestyle, ideology, and perspective than yours. Be open to this new perspective and respect the differences between you. If you do, you will find the diversity this experience brings into your life to be very rewarding.
Change is Constant
Change is Constant: College is a time for learning and growth. Both you and your roommate will likely change a lot during your time together. Be aware of the changes as they come and don't cling to the past. New challenges will arise and you may need to address new issues or come to new agreements. You may start out close and slowly grow apart or the opposite may be true. Be open to this change and go with the flow! Feel free to speak with the RA about updating your Roommate Agreement to meet your changing lifestyles.
Treat Others How You Want to Be Treated
Treat Your Roommate How You Want to Be Treated: Having a roommate can be challenging, and you may sometimes be unsure how to solve a problem between you. When in doubt, follow the Golden Rule, and treat your roommate how you would hope to be treated.
Resident Advisor