Early and frequent communication is critical to keeping a good relationship with your roommate(s). Living with others can be challenging, but you can make your relationship a success by:
- Having respect
- Being flexible
- Appreciating your differences
- Being willing to communicate
- Having genuine care and regard for others
- Being willing to compromise, but also asserting your rights
- Being honest with your feelings
- Keeping in mind what rights you value the most
- Considering not what is ideal, but what is reasonable
- Working on what you can agree about, but not arguing about difficult subjects (you can ask your RA to mediate if necessary)
No matter how hard you try, communication sometimes breaks down. Clues that you have had a break-down in communication include: your roommate isn’t talking to you, they leave the room whenever you enter, they complain to their friends about you, or get angry over trivial matters. Take the first step in communicating with your roommate(s) to try and understand what is wrong. It may be something simple that can be easily cleared up, or everyone may have to work on the issue(s) together to create a better situation. Include your RA if necessary.
Communicating About Safety
You and your roommate(s) might have different ideas about safety, so it is important to discuss issues and find an agreement for keeping you, your room, and belongings safe.
Some issues may include:
- When to lock the room
- Hosting overnight guests
- Sharing passwords
- Carrying keys and student ID cards
- Allowing people to be in your room when roommates are not present
- Following residence hall, University, state, local, and federal policies and laws
Note: Safety and security experts highly recommend that doors remain locked and un-propped, passwords not be shared, keys and ID cards remain with the owner at all times, and laws/policies are followed in order to maintain the safest living environment.