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Wondering how to become the perfect college roommate? Like you, many students want to make the smoothest transition from high school to college. With that transition comes the chance to live away from home and meet amazing new people. 

To help ease this transition period, we put together a list of tips that will help you become a great roommate.

Many of these tips, rely on some sort of communication between you and your roommate. 

1. Practice effective communication

Whether you had a room all to yourself or shared a room with your sibling(s), one thing is for certain: Being a college roommate is very different.

If you’re coming home late, communicate with your roommate. If you want to use some of their stuff, ask them. If you have a problem with them, tell them. Communicate even on the bad days. 

There will be disagreements, and the best way to solve them is by talking about it. By communicating, you will contribute to a positive living environment while building a respectful relationship with your roommate. 

Voice your concerns

Under the same umbrella — voice your concerns. It’s okay to speak up when you are worried about your living situation. Remember, your roommate will only help fix the situation if he or she knows. At the end of the day, everything will be fine.

Honesty

Enforce or make honesty a big deal along with voicing your concerns, I think being honest with yourself and your roommate plays a huge part in your success at being a great roommate.

If you know your living situation is broken beyond repair, then consider moving into another housing assignment with other people. If it comes to this point, you might be upset, but it’s okay. 

In college, you will make new friends, end friendships and move on. This is all part of the process. Just don’t forget to be your best self and focus what matters: Your academics.

2. Set & respect boundaries

As soon as you’ve settled in, you should schedule a meeting with your roommate. This meeting will help set rules and boundaries. Be sure to discuss everything that might make each other’s living arrangements complicated.

Don’t expect to become best friends with your roommate in the first week. Building a friendship takes time and patience. However, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get to know them!

3. Clean up after yourself

Having a college roommate is very different compared to living at home. At home, your parents might take it easy on you and clean after you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no one will clean after you. On the positive side, you can share the common chores with your roommate and bond at the same time.

4. Go 50/50 on shared housing expenses

It’s all about fairness. We suggest you and your roommate develop a system where you guys can split shared housing expenses. 

From my own experience, I can confirm that splitting shared living expenses equally will probably save you from a lot of money-related disagreements. 

5. Respect your roommate’s sleep and study schedule

If you guys have any disagreements, be sure to tackle them head-on before it starts affecting your living environment. To avoid escalating things, consider setting up a system where you guys can make an agreement and address any conflicts without getting uncomfortable.

6. Set visiting rules and hours

There’s a chance of your roommate being the total opposite of who you’re. You may be outgoing and a night owl but your roommate may not. In a situation like this, we suggest you both discuss how important it is to respect each other’s lifestyle. 

I have friends who don’t share similar interests with their roommate’s but they manage to still respect each other’s lifestyles 

The more you participate in school activities, the more people you’ll meet. Eventually, you’ll have a bunch of friends, and you will want to have them over at your place. Before you invite them over, be sure to ask your roommate if it’s okay per your mutual agreements. 

7. Just Be You

Being a great college roommate doesn’t require rocket science, just consideration, and respect.  This is an important moment in your life, and you deserve to enjoy every bit of it. Hangout with your roommate and have the time of your life. 

 * These tips apply to anyone regardless of how many roommates they may have *

We know living with a stranger can make you feel like you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone, but it’s okay! You’ll be fine and make other friends along the way!

We are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education. Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, makes the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and assistance available to the public for free at fafsa.gov.