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MSU Home :: Living With a Roommate

Living With a Roommate  


College will be full of challenges, many leading to rewarding results and your growth as an independent adult.  Living with a roommate is one of these challenges.  Many college students have never shared a room with another person for an extended period of time, making this a first time experience.  We are excited for you to get to know other residents and to learn something new from your roommate.  You may even learn something knew about yourself along the way.

Your resident advisor will help you develop a roommate agreement upon your arrival.  This agreement helps you share expectations for your living arrangement, lays out how you and your roommate prefer to communicate and how to address issues as they arise.  In order to help you foster a positive and successful roommate relationship, we have provided a few tips listed below.

 Organize the room together: Collectively decide who is going to use what furniture in the room. Successful roommates make a residence hall room a home by adding personal touches and working together to arrange the room to the liking of everyone who shares the space.

 Get to know your roommate: It is not a requirement or expectation that you become best friends with your roommate, but make an effort to hang out sometimes and support each other's interests. Spending some structured time together will allow you to get to know each other and begin to understand each other.
 
Communicate expectations: When does the stereo need to be turned down? What nights are reserved for studying in the room? Do you want to share plates and bowls? These as well as other questions will arise and the best approach is to discuss expectations openly and early.
 
Don't ignore problems: Most problems can be minimized or resolved by simple communication. If problems are left to build up, they become more difficult to resolve. If something comes up, set aside time to talk about where both you and your roommate can focus on resolving the issue at hand. A staff member can help facilitate a conversation if needed.
 
Give each other space: It is great to hang out together and build a relationship, but don't forget to spend time apart as well.
 
Share upcoming academic commitments: If you have a big paper due in a week or a test coming up, let your roommate know so that you can have some quiet in the room to study and work on your assignments.
 
Ask before borrowing: Develop guidelines of what can be borrowed and what cannot be borrowed. Never assume that it is ok to use your roommate's dishes without asking; never assume it is ok to use her hairdryer without asking first. It is always best to ask first as it will help avoid conflict.
 
Have fun: Spend time de-stressing with your roommate. This may simply be a quick 10 minute chat while getting ready in the morning. It may be a movie night or a weekly jog or hike, but whatever it is find something fun to do!

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