We believe that this is a time for you to learn about and from other students, in particular, individuals who might be both similar and different from you. We understand that you might know someone who will be joining you at Saint Rose for the first time and you would like to live with each other. We encourage you to think this through carefully – it is one thing to be friends, but something else to live with each other.
We understand that you may be joining our residence hall community after having shared a room with someone or this may be your first opportunity. Whatever your experiences have been, we want to offer you some helpful suggestions to make your new living arrangement a positive one.
Before moving into your room, it is important to communicate with your roommate; start to learn about each of your likes and dislikes, preferences and sensitivities. It is imperative that you keep the lines of communication open – be clear with each other so there are no assumptions about what the other is thinking or feeling. Many times roommates hold back their true emotions because the want to avoid hurting the other person. If you can share your thoughts and concerns when they happen, you will keep them from building into a larger conflict over time. Part of living together means learning how to respect each other. You may not always agree, but being able to see understand your roommate’s point of view will go a long way to having a successful living situation.
During the first few weeks, your RA will assist you and your roommate in completing a Roommate Agreement. When filling this out, it will be important to be honest with each other – answer the questions with how you truly feel, not how you think your roommate wants you to feel. It might seem strange at first to talk about these topics so soon after moving in, but the earlier you discuss them and set clear expectations of one another, the more likely you will enjoy a positive and healthy relationship with your roommate.
Some Discussion Topics to Consider for Roommates
We learned early on in our lives the importance of sharing. There may be some things you are more comfortable with your roommate using than others. Do you always need to ask each other for permission to use something – or only for certain items? Is it okay for friends of your roommate to use your things? If something breaks or is lost, who is responsible for it? Will you share the cost?
Having a guest in your room is a privilege, not a right. Residents have the right to feel comfortable in their space and with who is in their room. Be honest with each other and set expectations about who is okay visit and who might not be – talk about overnight guests, significant others, etc.
We know individuals have different ideas of what it means to have a “neat” room. We recommend you set a schedule for emptying the trash, cleaning your microwave/refrigerator, sweeping, etc.
Some students prefer to study in their room, while others might look for another location on campus; some work better late at night, others, though, work better during the day. Talking through your preferences as well as what level of noise is acceptable in the room will make a big difference. You are part of a larger community now and noise tends to carry throughout the building. Being respectful of others when you are in your room or hallway goes a long way to building positive relationships.
We have each had opportunities to be exposed to many different experiences in our lives. Those experiences have shaped your personal habits and preferences. Be honest with each other without being harsh or critical.