Living with a roommate may be unlike anything you have done in your life until now. To help you adjust to your living situation, we offer the following advice:
Don't expect your roommate to be your best friend and constant companion. Continuous close contact can strain even the best of friendships.
Keep the lines of communication open.
Discuss the potential areas of conflict. Be open to compromise. If necessary, make a list of ground rules concerning such issues as music, smoking, and visitors. This will lessen the chance of arguments over simple misunderstandings. If your roommate is doing something you don't like, express your feelings. It's usually better to air concerns immediately. Don't store up a lot of petty grievances -- they will grow into a major problem.
Remember your RA is there to help.
Although most RAs prefer that students try and work out disagreements on their own first, they are always available to help mediate serious conflicts.
Know your rights
As a resident you have the right to:
- Sleep and relax in your room.
- Read and study in your room, free of interference.
- Have control over your personal possessions.
- Have free access to your room.
- Have a clean, safe environment in which to live.
- Entertain guests without infringing upon the rights of your roommate or community.
- Appropriately challenge another's behavior when it infringes on your rights.
- Seek the aid of staff in resolving conflicts after your own unsuccessful attempts at resolution.
The Dean of Students Office does not, nor can it, guarantee your living situation will be perfect at all times. But you can help to ensure that your rights are honored through thoughtful communication and discussion with those living around you. Remember that the community is collectively responsible for the environment in which you live, and that the only person whose behavior you are responsible for is you.