News Articles About Roommates

How much you end up spending on room and board will vary greatly depending on the school you attend and how flexible you are in terms of your choice of housing. And with the average cost for room and board for the 2014-2015 school year hovering around $10,000, considering schools with more affordable options may be essential to managing your college budget. Check out the list below from U.S. News and World Report for the top 10 schools with the least expensive room and board below:

10 Colleges with the Cheapest Room and Board Fees

December 2, 2014
by Suada Kolovic
How much you end up spending on room and board will vary greatly depending on the school you attend and how flexible you are in terms of your choice of housing. And with the average cost for room and
Navigating college can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out. Every school runs a little differently but most have many common resources available to all students, new and seasoned.

In the Residence Halls: Ever wonder who puts those pretty name tags on your door? That’s your residence advisor (RA)! They’re your immediate resource in the residence halls if you lock yourself out of your room or want to get involved in your building’s community. A step up from the RAs are the residence directors (RDs), who are the head honchos of each residence building. If your RA doesn’t know the answers to your questions, it’s likely that the RD will. Make sure you know these people and how to get in contact with them because they are always available to help.

In the Classrooms: In your classes, your resources are a little more obvious. Your teachers are there to guide you through the courses you’re taking with them but since many professors believe in student independence, sometimes you’ve got to figure it out on your own. Connect with your peers to help each other out with homework, group projects and other assignments – it will give you a chance to make new friends and find a study partner for finals as well. Some professors have teaching assistants (TAs) who can help you in class or out of class for tutoring if you make appointments with them. It’s important to remember that you have connections in every college situation you’re in, even the hardest of classes.

Outside of the Classrooms: There is an abundance of resources available to students outside of the classroom that are just waiting to be utilized, such as academic advisors, librarians, info booth attendees, peer advisors, tutors, admissions tour guides and even the registrar workers. Colleges are full of helpful people who are there to make sure you have the best experience and achieve your goals while you’re enrolled. The best part about these resources is that if they can’t help you or answer your questions, then 9 times out of 10 they know who to connect you with so that you can get the help and answers you need.

Abby Egan is currently a junior at MCLA in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, where she is an English Communications major with a concentration in writing and a minor in philosophy. Abby hopes to find work at a publishing company after college and someday publish some of her own work. In her spare time, Abby likes to drink copious amounts of coffee, spend all her money on adorable shoes and blog into the wee hours of the night.

Making the Most of Your College’s Resources

September 27, 2013
by Abby Egan
Navigating college can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out. Every school runs a little differently but most have many common resources available to all students, new and
Living on campus is almost a necessary rite of passage for the college freshman. “Don’t miss out on the full college experience!” you’re warned, enticed with stories of spacious dorms, fantastic parties and few rules. Sure, living in the dorms can be fun, exciting and new but it also has it downsides: expensive room and board fees, a mandatory meal plan with food usually not worth the cost, lack of privacy or the risk of a bad roommate. Being a commuter student, on the other hand, isn’t as difficult as it seems: Your school probably has commuter lockers if you have a lot of books, packing a lunch is cheap and quick and carpooling is an efficient way to travel with friends.

Becoming a Commuter Student

September 5, 2013
by Mary Steffenhagen
Living on campus is almost a necessary rite of passage for the college freshman. “Don’t miss out on the full college experience!” you’re warned, enticed with stories of spacious dorms, fantastic
As an incoming college student, you’ve probably heard the term “freshman experience” a million times by now. Well, think of residence halls as feeding grounds for memories and experiences you can gain outside of the college classrooms: The social atmosphere of residence halls is the most basic way to build college connections and relationships and staying on campus during freshman year is essential to receiving that crash course to how life really is on a college campus.

What Do I Get Out of It? In residence halls, you bond with others living in your shared space, you gain your independence when you remain on your own for weeks on end and you really get to integrate yourself into your school's community. 

But I Miss My Mom! College is a time for new challenges and standing on your own two feet so if you’re feeling homesick, I always advise new college students to tough it out for just a little bit longer. Feel free to call Mom and Dad whenever you'd like and definitely look forward to seeing them at the next holiday but remember that you're paying for every cent that dorm room has to offer. 

I Don’t Have That Kind of Money! If you can’t afford to live on campus, try to get involved in clubs and make connections in your classes. Getting to know other on-campus students will give you the opportunity to hang out with friends in the residence halls, even if it IS only as a guest. Staying involved on campus can make up for the lack of connection you’d make if you were living with your peers. If you make the effort, you won’t miss out on that traditional “freshman experience” but similar to many other aspects of college, you will get out of it what you put in it.

How Do I Determine What's Best for Me? If living at school is just too much for you to handle, maybe commuting would be a better fit for your needs...but don't give up on the dorm experience immediately! It may not be for everyone but dealing with other people in close quarters is a good skill to have for when the “real world” comes creeping around the corner.

Abby Egan is currently a junior at MCLA in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, where she is an English Communications major with a concentration in writing and a minor in philosophy. Abby hopes to find work at a publishing company after college and someday publish some of her own work. In her spare time, Abby likes to drink copious amounts of coffee, spend all her money on adorable shoes and blog into the wee hours of the night.

Your Guide to On-Campus Living

September 4, 2013
by Abby Egan
As an incoming college student, you’ve probably heard the term “freshman experience” a million times by now. Well, think of residence halls as feeding grounds for memories and experiences you can
Resident assistants. So you’ve seen them around campus and you admire how much they help out their fellow students. You’ve seen how much everybody loves them and what a positive impact they have on your university. Are you thinking of becoming a resident assistant yourself? As a new RA, I honestly expected it to be a lot less challenging than it has already proven to be but rather than explaining every last detail, I can tell you that there are some major dos and don’ts for the job:

Do come up with some great ideas for your residents. Do you want to plan a fun event or activity? The power is in your hands!
Don’t dominate everything. It is important to work with your co-RAs when planning events or deciding on new residence hall policies.
Do get excited! Being an RA is not only a rewarding experience but it is also a great way to get to know a lot of people.
Don’t expect it to be easy. RAs have to go through a lot of training and come back to campus earlier than most students.
Do put your residents first. They will be coming to you with some pretty intense problems and you should be willing to help them out whenever they need it.  
Don’t abuse your schoolwork. Although your job is a super important duty, learn to balance your time in such a way that your academic performance will not suffer.
Do be sure to alert your residents if things are getting out of hand. Nobody wants a messy kitchen or bathroom and chances are that your residents will blame you for not calling a hall meeting.
Don’t be bossy. Your residents won't feel comfortable coming to you for advice if they’re afraid that you will snap at them.

Most importantly, you should never get involved in something simply for the popularity aspect. If being an RA sounds like something you would be really dedicated to, go for it! It may be a lot of work but if you enjoy helping people, you will probably have a lot of fun being a resident assistant at your university!

What to Expect as a Resident Assistant

August 27, 2013
by Melissa Garrett
Resident assistants. So you’ve seen them around campus and you admire how much they help out their fellow students. You’ve seen how much everybody loves them and what a positive impact they have on
For me, there’s nothing like the feeling of driving around my hometown and getting flashbacks of good memories with my friends and family. There is nothing that can replace the familiarity of your childhood home but it’s important to make your dorm/apartment and your campus your second home. Here are a few things I did with my college living space to feel more like home:
 
Display photos. Whenever I’m having a not-so-great day, looking at photos of my loved ones or of a photo that has a good memory linked to it will put me in a better mood. I put photos all over my apartment to make it feel more like home.
 
Play up your interests. I love candles so it was annoying freshman year when I couldn’t light any of them. (Thank you, Glade PlugIns!) Now that I live off campus, I always decorate with candles – they make my room feel more cozy and welcoming. I also recommend decorating with things that interest you: If you’re a music junkie, decorate your walls with posters of your favorite bands and if you love fashion, tear pictures from magazines and make a cool collage.
 
Accept what you can’t change. I remember hearing my roommate complain that the dorm room was way too small and it made her miss her big room, big closet and big house. I know many of us don’t have the luxury of big beds and big closets but my point is that college living is going to be different than living at home. The rooms will be smaller, the beds will be narrower and you’ll be living in close quarters with someone you may barely know. If you can’t change it, embrace it – you’ll usually be better off for it!

How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel More Like Home

July 30, 2013
by Carly Gerber
For me, there’s nothing like the feeling of driving around my hometown and getting flashbacks of good memories with my friends and family. There is nothing that can replace the familiarity of your
Choosing where you want to live for a full year can be a big decision! Whether you realize it or not, where you live can really impact you and how you study – so much so that it can make or break your academic success. Here are ways to amplify your opportunity with the best housing options during your first year at school:

Know the Purpose of the Building You Choose: Many dorm buildings have different purposes or themes. On my campus, there are dorms where the majority of sorority girls live, dorms where most of the band lives and dorms where most athletes live. As I freshman, I chose a “Cocky Experience” dorm, which was just a dorm aimed at introducing freshmen into the college experience. We had study sessions and group meetings every month and my dorm upheld “quiet hours” more than the sorority dorm that my friend resided in. It was also within walking distance of the library so as you can imagine, it was way easier for me to get my studying done than it was for my friend to do the same.

Stray Away from Off-Campus Options: Your first year of college is all about learning the ways of your new school and yourself. When living off campus, you are pretty much disconnected from the school both academically and socially. When my sister stayed at an off-campus apartment, she was always disturbed by the amount of noise from outside forces. Off-campus options have less rules and more tolerance for disturbance; you are also no longer close to a peaceful area like the library or academic center.

How Housing Placement Can Affect Study Habits

July 25, 2013
by Chelsea Slaughter
Choosing where you want to live for a full year can be a big decision! Whether you realize it or not, where you live can really impact you and how you study – so much so that it can make or break
Whether you’ve known your soon-to-be roommate for years or have never met before, there will be ups and downs to living with another person. Here are my helpful tips on setting up a positive roommate relationship and what to do if you and your roommate aren’t hitting it off.
 
Find the right match. Your university may set up a Facebook page dedicated to helping students find roommates or the college has a system in place that sets you up with someone. Both systems allow you to list your personality traits and your interests to match you with an ideal roommate...but this is NOT the time to write down characteristics you hope to have one day because you’ll be linked with someone who doesn’t fit your natural traits. Be true about the person you are and you’ll find someone who is a great match.
 
Speak up. Your dorm room or apartment should feel just like home so if you feel uncomfortable about something your roommate is doing, speak up right away or refer to your roommate contract. I regret the times I didn’t speak up rather than the times I did: Nothing changed when I didn’t tell my roommate my feelings and the frustration stayed with me.
 
From BFF to archenemy. This can happen to two randomly selected students or two people who were once best friends at summer camp. Trust me, I’ve seen it! If you and your roommate have certain issues that can’t be resolved, then you have to decide if you can live with the person or if it’s best you end your living situation. Many universities allow you to switch roommates and some students get lucky enough to live in a dorm room alone!

How to Play (and Win) the Roommate Game

July 24, 2013
by Carly Gerber
Whether you’ve known your soon-to-be roommate for years or have never met before, there will be ups and downs to living with another person. Here are my helpful tips on setting up a positive roommate
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