Living with a Roommate
Curious about what it will be like to live with a roommate? Having difficulty living with your roommate(s) right now? You’ve come to the right place!
Living with people can be stimulating, rewarding and one of the most positive aspects of your university experience. It will also be challenging. We all have our own preferences, habits, and ways of doing things that make absolute sense to us – but will be completely annoying to others. (Yes, you have these characteristics too.)
The good news is, successful roommate relationships don’t just happen, they’re the product of a lot of communication, a bit of effort and a healthy dose of patience – and you can help create one.
The resources on this page are designed to help you get your roommate relationship(s) off to a good start and get back on track if you’ve been having trouble.
Make sure you have all the tools you need for living with a roommate by attending Roommate Bootcamp on Sunday, September 9.
Reflect a little bit about your values, habits and pet peeves. Think about what will be important to you as a roommate. The better able you are to articulate to your roommate what’s important to you – the faster you’ll be able to resolve some of the less important issues.
After you receive your room assignment (typically in mid-August), log on to our Online Service and consent to release your email address and name to your new roommate. Many new roommates like to be in touch over email or MSN before moving into rez. It’s a great way to find out a bit more about one another – and decide if you both really need a microwave – before moving to rez.
Not sure what to talk about? Read on...
Prepare for first impressions! Give your new roommate the benefit of the doubt. If she doesn’t look like you thought she would, nor does she resemble any of your old friends from high school – work to put aside those first impressions. Often we’re surprised how different people are than what we first expect!
Be kind and be friendly. Get to know one another. Share likes, dislikes, favourite childhood memories.
Plan to do something together. Go to the dining room together for lunch. Have a stroll to the SUB.
Share your expectations and values. Set guidelines around food, sharing, noise, guests, cleanliness, the phone bill, what time the alarm goes off and how many times it’s OK to hit snooze. Plan to revisit these often. Figure out what to do when you are mad/frustrated/disappointed with one another. It will happen. Even the best roommates disagree from time to time.
If things aren’t going well with your roommate, first try to talk to him/her about the issues that are causing difficulty. Often just communicating your concerns with your roommate will help generate some good solutions.
Here are some suggested compromises to get you off on the right foot. Read on...
If you’re not comfortable talking to your roommate, your Residence Advisor can help you organize your thoughts and figure out how best to approach the situation.
If you’ve tried talking to your roommate and things haven’t improved, your Residence Advisor can help. Advisors are trained in working through challenging situations. Sometimes formal roommate mediation will help; sometimes just having an Advisor help you talk to one another is all that’s needed.