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Roommate Problems

When moving into the residence halls, you may know your roommate from high school or this may be just another new face in the crowd. In either case, by now you probably know more about this person than you ever thought possible, from their snoring ability to the need to wake up to blaring music. Some roommate pairs become fast friends while others can share the room, but prefer to keep to themselves. And sometimes unfortunately, there are also roommates who just can’t get along.

If you find yourself in the last situation, there can be several reasons that become contributing factors in a roommate conflict, for example:

  • Too many guests or overnight visitors
  • Using each other’s things without asking
  • One likes quiet to study, while the other likes the radio or television on
  • Different expectations of what a roommate will be (just someone to live with vs. new best friend)  

Many of the items above can be discussed when you and your roommate can sit down and share together your expectations through a roommate contract, which you should have completed at move-in. Putting things in writing will encourage accountability for both roommates.

If you are conflicting with your roommate, try to follow some of these guidelines:

  • Remember that it takes two people to conflict. Reflect on your own behavior and ask yourself if you are part of the problem.
  • Try to talk about the situation with your roommate. Use “I” statements to describe how you are feeling.
  • If you are still unable to work things out on your own, meet with the Resident Assistant (RA) on your floor. The RA can help mediate the situation and help find a compromise.
  • Should the behavior have illegal or unethical consequences or could cause harm, contact your Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director immediately for assistance.