Living With a Roommate

Living with roommates can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you’ll have at Carroll University! While meeting someone for the first time and living with someone you don’t know well could seem challenging, it could also be the beginning of a friendship that will last a lifetime.  The key to navigating a successful roommate relationship is building a foundation based on mutual respect, communication and compromise.

guys playing video games

girls with heads together

students laughing together

Make the Most of Living with a Roommate

Introduce yourself and make plans

Spend some time learning about your new roommate(s) before you get here. Summer is an excellent time to start a conversation that begins with the basics, such as asking where they’re from, what their major is, or what activities or hobbies they’re involved in. Connect with your roommate(s) on social media to get to know them better—you could share Pinterest boards for room decorating ideas or discuss plans for who is bringing what on Facebook Messenger in advance of Move-In Day. Think of it this way—if you plan well, it’s probably less stuff for everyone to deal with! Our handy ‘What to Bring List’ will serve as your guide.

Build in breathing room

As you learn more about each other, you may realize that you’re very different people.  That’s actually a really good thing! You’ll grow personally from living with a roommate who has interests and perspectives that are different from your own. That’s where your foundation of mutual respect, communication and compromise will make a huge difference in your experience. While spending time together helps you build your relationship, it’s also important to realize everyone needs their own space.  It’s necessary and healthy to have time away from one another to engage in your separate interests.

Set the ground rules

After move in, you’ll complete your roommate agreement, which helps define your roommate relationship. This is where you set boundaries, determine what’s shareable, and how you’ll use your shared spaces. It’s never too early to start thinking about what you want to include in your agreement. You can always revisit the roommate agreement with the help of residence life staff, but planning ahead is a smart move!

Be realistic

Not everyone is going to get along all the time. It’s inevitable in any relationship that conflict will arise. When it happens, step back and stay calm. Use it as an opportunity for productive, respectful, face-to-face communication with a goal of improving the relationship to everyone’s benefit. While you’re working toward a mutually agreeable solution, you’ll be developing valuable life and workplace skills that will help you navigate difficult situations to positive outcomes. If you’re unable to come to an agreement that works for you and your roommate(s), our residence life staff is always available to help.      

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