Navigating The Roommate Decision

Navigating The Roommate Decision

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Navigating The Roommate Decision

Who should I live with next year? How do I decide?

These are great questions, and ones maybe your son or daughter are probably asking themselves and may be asking you in their own words. Finding roommates can be a challenging and sometimes stressful process. Who you live with is important to the academic experience and one that all students should give appropriate time and attention to, even if your student has all their friends already chosen for roommates. It is good for all students as they search for their future housing situation to help prepare them by asking some of the following questions of themselves and potential future roommates.

As your student is thinking about who their roommate could be, it might be good for you to ask them:

  • What do you need in a roommate?
  • Who do you know that respects you and others?
  • Who do you know that supports you as a person?
  • Who will hold you accountable in making good decisions?

If your student has certain individuals in mind for future roommates or already decided on their future roommates, it might be good for you to ask:

  • Have you spoken with your potential roommates about your needs in a roommate?
  • Have you asked your potential roommate about their needs from you as their roommate?
  • Does your potential roommate have similar sleep schedules/other habits? If not, do you have a plan in place for how to manage those differences?

One of the most common misconceptions about housing and roommate situations are that a student needs to know and be friends with everyone that they live with. While that might be nice in theory, realistically this is not always possible or feasible, especially on a college campus. What’s most important in the process of seeking housing and roommate relationships are asking the questions above. You can live with someone and not necessarily hang out with them in your free time; these sometimes can even be some of the healthier roommate relationships so long as there is open communication. Even if students think they have their dream roommates because they are close friends, most roommate relationships quickly struggle because they have failed to have open dialogue about the aspects of living together that matter most. Encourage your student to have these conversations before they decide on their roommates. While it may feel unnatural to our students to proactively think through and talk about these things, we find that our students who are proactive in these ways, have a smoother transition into the fall semester and have a better time communicating with their roommates in the future, which leads to less housing issues throughout the academic year!

The Residence Life team is here to help any student who may need guidance in these conversations or connecting with other students who may also need roommates for the new academic year. Please be sure to tell your student to talk to their RA or RD, we are here to help!



-Kelsey Murphy, Director of Residence Life