Like many of our students, you may have never shared a room before. Anyone who has can tell you, it takes work to keep things going smoothly. When you move into the residence halls, you’ll need to be prepared to communicate with your roommate in order to keep the relationship successful.
Don’t worry! Residence hall staff is trained and available to help you learn to live with another person, but in order to get your new relationship off on the right foot, you’ll want to take some early steps.
Remember: direct, honest communication is the key to success! While social media provides an easy method of reaching out to your roommate, oftentimes messages are mis-communicated using these sites. We encourage you to set up a time for you to talk with your roommate on the phone before using Social Media.
Some things you might consider discussing with your new roommate include:
- What to bring and what to share. Make the most of your space by limiting the ‘major’ items. (Remember you are not permitted to bring microwaves, as we have those for you in the lounges) It’s important to remember to determine if sharing food, clothes and other items is okay with your roommate(s), or it’s best to keep some things separate for the comfort of each of you.
- Guests- especially overnight guests. Be sure to talk about who can visit, how often, and how long. With overnight guests, make sure your roommate is comfortable with the idea and work out a system to provide a heads-up well in advance so your roommate is prepared. Daemen’s policy is that a guest can only stay for 2 nights in any 7 day period.
- Use of the room. Do you plan to socialize, or is it primarily a space to study and sleep? Make sure you have talked about what each roommate expects and how you will let each other know when you need privacy or extra study and sleep time in the room.
- Care for the room. Just like at home, many tasks are best accomplished when responsibility is shared. For example, consider how often the room will be cleaned and how tasks such as taking out the trash, washing dishes and de-cluttering will be divided.
- Roommate or BFF? Will your roommate be your best friend? Maybe, but it’s okay (and very common) if you end up really connecting with someone other than your roommate too. You’ll want to spend enough time together to have a good relationship but respect each other’s outside friendships too. It’s unlikely you’ll be spending every waking moment with your roommate and no one else, so be sure to discuss how both sets of your friends will influence things.
- How to keep talking. Even if you seem to agree on everything, eventually something unexpected could get in the way. The most successful roommates develop a plan for communicating issues- even small issues- quickly and respectfully, so they can work together to make things right. It’s important to talk with your roommate about how to best bring problems up so no one gets offended or hurt unintentionally. Face-to-face communication is best when issues arise because notes, texts and emails can be misread and easily lead to hurt feelings.
Remember, once you get here, you’ll have a trained staff to help with whatever comes up! Early on, you’ll communicate agreements on the above (and other) topics. If something comes up that you can’t work out on your own, we’ll help you revisit and revise what you agreed upon so it works better for everyone.