The question all students ask: “What’s up with having to live with someone else? I have never had to live in the same room with someone else in my life.”
Part of your experience at Campbell will include learning to live with another person. It is our hope that students learn to communicate better with others, work through their conflicts, and build lasting friendships.
Here are a few tips that will assist you in this process:
- Get to know each other. It is a common misconception that roommates need to have a lot in common. Opposite personalities can live together. It is important that you get to know the other person that is living with you. It is amazing what you may have in common even with someone who is completely different.
- Respect your differences. People who share the same academic major and similar hobbies are still different. It is important that once you get to know your roommate, you build mutual respect. Respect small things like the neatness of a roommate and their quiet/study time. Never forget the major things like culture, race, and their religion. It’s also important to make time for fun. Once you know your roommate, work together to accommodate each other’s needs.
- Establish clear boundaries. Establish appropriate times for sleep, personal quiet hours, and television usage. Discuss your daily routines and how your morning and evening noise may disturb each other. Establishing boundaries upfront may help alleviate strain on the relationship once the semester begins.
- Ask before you borrow something. It is critical to establish what is shared and what is not. Do not assume that your roommate will not mind. Always ask before borrowing anything from your roommate. At the beginning of the year, taking five minutes to establish some boundaries can eliminate hours of disagreements.
- Alarm Clock. You may think we are joking, but sleep is the most common source of arguments. Always respect each other’s sleep habits and promptly turn off the alarm clock in the morning. Just because you want to stay up late or get up early does not mean your roommate does.
- Visitation. Establishing boundaries concerning visitors is important. You should never invite or allow people into your room without one of you in the room. Also, having visitors for long periods may lead to roommate conflict.
- Always remember you do not have to be friends. Your roommate in college does not have to be your best friend. It may be better if you are not best friends due to the amount of time spent together. The most important thing about living with someone is to learn more interpersonal skills and how to approach conflict.
- Finally remember the Golden Rule, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you…”
The University endeavors to assist you in this process. We provide students with a roommate contract that helps establish some of these boundaries. Please contact your Resident Director for further assistance.