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Conversations You Should Have With Your Roommates

By Eric Kirby on August 29, 2018 in

Housing, Student Experience

conversations with roommates to fix problems

Living with roommates can be difficult. Set expectations now to avoid later frustration. The following Uloop.com ‘roommate check-in’ can help you establish appropriate expectations and parameters with your roommates:

  • Chores: As the semester progresses, some may feel like they are taking the trash out more than others or that they are the only ones vacuuming the apartment.  Discuss with your roommates the value of a chore chart and how it might help everyone feel that the chores are more evenly split.  You can switch off jobs every week, or assign people to a specific job if you all agree.

  • Noise levels: If you like to blast music as you de-stress or work on your assignment, check in with your roommate to make sure they don’t mind. This goes for the television as well. If you like to watch TV at night, be observant to see if your roommates are trying to sleep, and vice-a-versa. Maybe you can all decide on designated quiet hours, and if someone wants to study on the weekend or during the loud hours, then they would have to go find some other quiet study place (i.e. the library).

  • People staying over: Set clear expectations as to times when you would want the room to be free of people who don’t live there, and when, if ever, it is alright for others to spend the night. Some people might get weird about setting limitations on this, but you should all feel at home in the space, and if they want to see the person more often than is allowed, they can do so in other spaces. You only have one space where you can take a nap or get a good night’s sleep, so it is imperative that you feel comfortable in your space and don’t feel like you can’t do you because of frequent visitors.

  • Sharing items: Set clear expectations as to which food, toiletries, etc. are community property and which items are yours alone.

  • Relationships to one another: If you feel like there has been tension in your room and you aren’t exactly sure why, it might be a good idea to sit down and hash out your feelings. Anger arises in situations where people keep problems to themselves for far too long. Communicating with your roommates is crucial as issues arise.  Hopefully opening up to one another will give room for key communication so you can bring up small things as they arise instead of waiting until they are big problems.

With any roommate difficulties Resident Assistants are trained to mediate conflicts as well as build community. University Housing suggests open communication. One way open communication is promoted is via a "Roommate Agreement" that roommates draft with the guidance of their Resident Assistant. This document governs the activities of the space in which the roommates live.

Talk with your Resident Assistant to see the roommate agreement and to solve any roommate conflicts.


     

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