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Roommates and Communal Living

Along with academic and financial obligations, college students have to learn how to get along with roommates. Learn how to share and compromise to avoid conflict. Also learn how to communicate to resolve small issues. Your roommates are not your parents or siblings, so learn their personality. Make note of their study habits and respect their personal space. Remember to always communicate your living preferences with your roommate. RA's require freshmen to make a roommate contract before the beginning of the semester.

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Adapting to a shared space

Dorm rooms are small so leave large items at home. Before moving into a small shared space, understand the most common roommate problems . Learn effective communication skills to build a positive relationship with your new roommate. Since upperclassmen have a social network established, finding a roommate for campus housing will be easy. Many upperclassmen prefer to live off campus, so finding a roommate for off campus housing will also be easy. Use campus housing networks to find a roommate.

Getting along with your roommates

No two people are alike. Be optimistic about your future roommate, but also be realistic. Evicting a roommate is drastic, but do not assume there will never be a conflict. Do not stay in a situation that negatively affects your college experience. To avoid drastic measures, make a roommate contract to clarify boundaries and create a positive roommate relationship. The communication skills you will learn is good preparation for the working world.

When living with a close friend, do not let silly things ruin a life-long friendship. Be honest with your friend about what you expect in a roommate. Close friends speak up more than strangers, so do not take things personally. Chances are you will get along fine, but be ready to compromise.

Browse through our site to see tips on dealing with difficult roommate/communal living situations. We also have tips on other aspects of college life, including penny pinching and student checking accounts to make your college experience stress free.

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Last Reviewed: January 2021