The Key to Getting Along with Roomate is Communication

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Answered by: Rachel, An Expert in the College Life - General Category
College is a new, exciting experience, and it gets even better if you can get along with your roomate. The key to getting along with roomate is open, honest communication. Soon after moving into the dorm (or, if you already know your roomate, before you move in), it is important to create a roomate contract. In fact, some colleges require that first year studens complete a roomate contract. In the contract outline your noise, and light prefrences and set aside "quiet hours". This is also the place to designate cleaning responsiblites and discuss your feelings about visitors. Both roomates should work to get along with the roomate and to discuss any potential problems during the writing of the contract. Both parties should agree to and sign the contract. Then, post the contract in place where you both can see it, in case one of you needs to refer back.



When living with a roomate, and trying to get along with them, it is important to be considerate. Shut the bathroom door, ask if the volume is too loud, wear headphones if your roomate is trying to study, and keep your area clean from food and other debris. If you are polite, then your roomate will be polite to you, and getting along with roomate will be a breeze.

If an argument or disagreement comes about, take down the contract and discuss the discrepancy. If you are mildly annoyed with one of your roomates habits, try writing them a note, or asking politely that they postpone the behavior. If you reach a point of disagreement (Perhaps, over the TV volume, stocking the fridge, or leaving the lights on at night), see if a compromise can be reached. Each of you should try to think of the ideal solution for the other roomate, and in doing so may put together the perfect compromise.



Living with a roomate can be tough, and sometimes you just need a breather. If everything keeps annoying you and you feel you can not keep calm long enough for a discussion, try staying with a friend or spending your freetime elsewhere, in order to give yourself time to cool off, think about what is bothering you the most, and propose a solution.

If problems escalate to the point where a conversation is not making progress, try pulling in a mediator. Your RA, CA, PEAS or college counselor would make a good mediator. You should both write down your feelings and thoughts about the problem and be prepared to discuss them with the mediator. Depending on the arguement, you may want to bring a copy of the contract along. The mediator will help you find the root of the problem and help you to propose several solutions.

Hopefully, you will be able to get along with your roomate without having to use a mediator. But if worst comes to worst, and the mediator can not help you reach a solution, you may want to ask your CA or RA if you can switch roomates. Usually, this arangement must be agreeable to all parties involved.

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