Roommates

Am I Ready For a Roommate?

Many of us lived with a sibling at some point in our lives so living with a roommate should be a piece of cake, right?  Well, maybe but there are some big differences in living with someone who isn’t a member of your family.  Your habits, behaviors, cleanliness, boundaries, styles of communication and expectations may not line up perfectly with your roommate but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful living experience.

Before moving into the residence halls, ask yourself:

  • Am I willing to work on improving some of my own bad habits (not picking up after myself, leaving food out, ?
  • Am I prepared to take on tasks I wasn’t responsible for at home (washing dishes, sweeping/vacuuming, trash disposal, cleaning the bathroom)?
  • Will I be respectful of my roommate’s personal belongings?
  • Can I adjust my preferences out of respect for my roommate and other residents (keeping my music lower than normal, not monopolizing the tv, wearing headphones when necessary)
  • Am I open to asking my roommate questions about their background and being asked questions about my background?
  • Will I work to communicate with my roommate when something is bothering me about our living arrangement?

Roommates Need to Talk to Each Other…

Your roommate can help define your college experience.  Whether it’s an old friend or someone you’ve never met, having a roommate will give you the chance to learn something new about yourself and about other people.

Have you ever tried to imagine what your college roommate will be like? We would all like to think that we would become best friends with our roommate. The fact is, however, that the two of you may be very different and it may take lots of work to develop a good relationship.

Often it is hard to talk about differences when you and your roommate are first trying to get to know each other. If you intend to live together happily, you need to realize and resolve your personal differences early in the relationship.

The first step is to begin talking about the things you value and about your lifestyles, so that you can find out where your differences exist. An easy way to discover more about your roommate is to talk about your background.  Here are some topics to get you started:

  • What I would like to tell you about my family…
  • My birthday is…
  • My friends back home are…
  • I describe my neighborhood and the people who live there as…
  • The reasons I came to Spalding are…
  • What I was most involved in (high school & community activities)…
  • The funniest thing that ever happened to me…
  • What I’ll miss most being away from home…

If you’re prepared to make some of these compromises, keep the lines of communication open and recognize how you can improve as a roommate, then you should be able to have a successful and fun time living in the residence halls.