You will develop many new relationships at university, especially in residence. The relationship with your roommate will be a central one. Many students arrive on campus with grand expectations of what their roommate will be like, and how the roommate relationship will evolve. Chances are your roommate will not completely meet your expectations. Not to worry though. Roommates don’t necessarily need to be best friends to live together successfully.

The cornerstones of a positive relationship with your roommate are communication and respect. Like all relationships, your relationship with a roommate will require good boundaries, understanding, compromise, and flexibility.

Getting to know your roommate and discussing important issues is a great way to build a solid foundation. That’s why your RA will guide you and your roommate through a Roommate Agreement activity within the first few weeks of your arrival. This activity is designed to provide a structured opportunity for you and your roommate to discuss the realities of sharing a room. It’s an opportunity for both of you to establish ground rules that will help make rooming together a positive experience.

It is very normal for a few conflicts to arise when you live with someone in one room for 8 months. If you find that your relationship with your roommate is troubled there are several things you can do:

  • Review your roommate agreement from your September discussion. Take another look at what you each agreed to in September. Re-establish ground rules, or make modifications as required.
  • Talk to your roommate about the problem (your RA can offer suggestions on how to do this effectively).
  • Talk to your RA.

If you and your roommate are unable to resolve the conflict on your own, your RA may be able to help mediate a solution. It is important that both roommates make an honest and sincere attempt to resolve differences. A room change will not be approved until all the above steps have been actively pursued.

At any time in the year the possibilities for a room change may be limited by the availability of space, and the willingness of other residents to change rooms. Please be aware that if you do request a room change through the Residence Office that you and/or your roommate may be required to move to another residence unit. While it may be a challenge to get along with your roommate, doing so may be preferable to moving to another unit.