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Roommates 101

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Chances are that sometime in your college career you’ll be living with a roommate. Whether it is in a dorm, an apartment, or a house off campus, living with a roommate will require setting some rules and boundaries in order to maintain a comfortable living situation. After all, you’re going to be living together for quite some time and you want to make sure that your home-away-from-home is a pleasant one. Listed below are a few things to keep in mind when living with your college roommate.

Establish Rules from the Get-Go

Talk about your preferences from the start. Do you like complete silence when you study, or do you prefer to listen to music? How loud do you like to listen to your music? What time do you usually go to bed? Do you like to sleep in on the weekends? Make sure that all rules are set from the very beginning and are clear and understood by both parties in order to avoid any disputes that could arise in the future.

Communication is Key

One thing that can complicate any living situation is lack of communication. If you’re upset or become frustrated by something, make sure to speak with your roommate regarding your concerns. Your roommate can’t read your mind, so you have to tell them what’s bothering you. Communicating is being respectful with one another, not criticizing each other. Choose your words carefully and make sure that when you do have concerns, you voice them in a way that won’t seem as if you are attacking your roommate. Communication also involves praise and compliments; so be sure to give each other positive feedback as well. Communication is vital, but it has to work in both ways.


Compromising is essential whenever two people live together. You both have different likes and dislikes and you must learn to blend both of your lifestyles together in order to create a comfortable living situation. Inevitably you will need to come to a compromise about certain issues such as chores that will get done around the room, when the lights go out at night, or how loud you are able to listen to your music. Compromise does not mean giving in to someone, or arguing about a situation, but rather coming to an agreement together in which you both agree to the terms.

Remember, none of us are perfect, and most problems do have solutions. Keeping an open mind and being respectful of each other will help make the experience a more pleasant one for the both of you.

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