Chatham University

Living with Roommates

Fostering a positive relationship between roommates is an important piece of residential living. Not all roommates are best friends, but it is imperative that they establish a respectful relationship. The Residence Life staff is available to assist students every step of the way. A roommate relationship can bring out social, cultural, and values conflicts. Residents complete a roommate agreement with their RA in order to communicate and create common guidelines for their room. It is important for roommates to know their expectations for each other.

Below are some tips to keep in mind when living with a roommate:

  • Call or e-mail your roommate(s) before school starts. Get to get to know each other and to see who is bringing what (microwave, TV, refrigerator) to conserve space. Make an effort to accommodate your roommates' needs.
  • Have realistic expectations of your roommate(s). Your roommate(s) will not necessarily be your best friend(s) on campus, but you can still be great roommates. Finding a life-long friend in your roommate is a bonus; finding someone who you can live with in an atmosphere of mutual respect is most important.
  • Remember that first-impressions can be deceiving. Avoid making snap decisions during your initial conversations with your roommate(s). Relationships take time to develop. It’s not fair for you to conclude that you and your roommate(s) will not be successful in sharing a space before you both have an opportunity to give it try. Roommate change requests prior to arrival on campus will not be granted.
  • Communicate. A key to successful roommate adjustment is open, honest and respectful communication – it’s vital to any relationship. Your best tool is to fill out a roommate contract when you first arrive and update it as needed.
  • Keep a balance of rights and compromise. Be flexible, but not at the expense of your studies or health. Honor your roommates’ rights to guests and socializing; after all, they are paying for the room, too. Separate your “wants” from “needs” and don’t insist on having everything in your room operate according to your preferences.