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Residence Life

Living With Others

Roommate Starter Kit

You and your roommate(s) may end up being best friends or, you and your roommate(s) may choose not to do much together; however it works out, you will learn valuable life lessons. You will learn to respect someone else’s space and to be able to articulate your wants and needs. Best friends often have the toughest time rooming together simply because they forget to sit down and set out some ground rules for the year. Each person is different. What seems normal to you may not be to your roommate(s).

The largest cause of roommate conflict comes from little things that are not addressed until they seem huge. The clothes strewn around the room, the number of guests that your roommate has, or the lights left on may upset you. Explain that to your roommate. Learn to talk to each other.

If you have a roommate conflict, be sure to talk to your RA! They are able to help you mediate a conversation between roommates and come up with a roommate contract. Students who are seeking a room change or additional support should contact the Resident Director or Area Coordinator of their building. 

Here is a list of questions to ask your roommate(s). Talk to your roommate(s) about these questions when you arrive and then again halfway through the year.

  1. I prefer to go to bed at … and wake up at …
  2. In my free time, I like to …
  3. I like to study alone/with others … in quiet/with music … in room/in library.
  4. My favorite music is …
  5. How neat do you like your room to be?
  6. How will we divide the cleaning responsibilities?
  7. What temperature are you comfortable with? Do you prefer fans/open windows/heat?
  8. Do you feel comfortable sharing clothes, food, appliances, music, personal hygiene items, electronic equipment, computers, books, etc.?
  9. What items are/are not appropriate to share or borrow?
  10. Would you prefer if I asked to borrow an item before I use it?
  11. Should we buy/rent any items together? How should we split the cost? Who should keep it at the end of the year?
  12. Do you mind anyone sitting on your bed?
  13. Are there times when you would prefer guests NOT be in the room?
  14. Do you prefer advanced notice when I plan to have guests?
  15. What hours are acceptable to watch television/listen to the stereo? At what volume?
  16. Where should messages be left for you?
  17. How do you feel about alcohol and other drugs?
  18. How do you handle stress?
  19. How should we communicate when there is a problem?
  20. My pet peeves are …

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