Sunday, March 6, 2011

Roommates 101

I find that the biggest concern that all incoming first university and college students face, living in residence is “will I get along with my roommate?” The answer, you wont like each other all the time, you just have to respect each other.

I know I went into my residence experience with such high hopes that my roommate and me were going to instantly be best friends who were going to do anything and everything together. I couldn’t wait to meet my roommate and start experiencing university life together. Once I moved in and we started living together, my dreams were shattered quickly!

I soon learned that my roommate and I had completely different schedules we were total opposites. She was a night owl and didn’t wake up till mid afternoon, I liked to go to bed at a decent hour so I could wake up early.

We frequently clashed on all kinds of issues but then we both realized that we needed to stop forcing ourselves to being “best friends” and just respect both of our needs for the year while we shared a room.

However, we both made it out alive from our shared room experience and now that we don’t share a space we have actually become best friends. We have grown so close and sharing a room was the first step in forming our strong friendship.

I know, once you move in to residence, and you initially don’t get along with your roommate your pairing can feel like a life sentence. I found some great steps on adjusting to living with a roommate at Parent Central and will help ease the transition into dorm life and sharing your living space with a total stranger.

Other tips for adjusting to life with a roommate:

·      Create roommate rituals. Give yourselves a chance to get to know each other better by establishing regular roommate get-togethers like going out for dinner, watching a movie or favourite TV show and celebrating each other's birthdays.
·      Be respectful. Make sure you both display common courtesy and empathy towards each other and each others things. Make sure to take down and communicate your roommate's phone messages. Be sensitive to how your roommate feels about girlfriends or boyfriends staying overnight. Offer some encouraging and supportive words when roommates are anxious about their first big test or term paper.

Until next week,

xo xo, your how to girl!


  1. Lauren,
    Great Post; I totally relate to your first-year experience. I also thought my roommate and I would become instant BFFs, but we just weren't cut out to be. In saying that, however, I really did love sharing a room with her. We were super respectful of each others routines, belongings, and class schedule. It ended up being a great experience, and I missed her a lot after moving out of residence. Unlike you, we didn't become closer afterwards, but we do still keep in touch!

  2. Your blogs are really helpful, I know a few a guys that could of used these tips back in the day thank god I don't have to deal with this stuff.

  3. Good post Lauren! I moved in with my best friend in my second year of university and it basically ruined our friendship. Sometimes no matter how close you are, you just aren't cut out to live together. The realities of school I guess.

  4. Great post Lauren! I had some horrendous roomate/housemate experiences during my time at Wilfrid Laurier, I too was jaded by the image of becoming instant BFF's. Wish I could have read some of these tips before going into that situation.

  5. I totally agree with that initial feeling/expectation about moving into residence. My dreams were nearly shattered when I got to my door and realized we shared the same first name. Your points on how to co-habitate effectively are right on point, and part of the reason me and my roommate became close.

    I'd love to hear your roommate's side of the story though. Do you happen to have her number?


  6. I was lucky enough to become inseparable from my roommate in first year; well one of the three. One of the other two were literally psychotic. I think everyone has a crazy roommate experience at least once.

  7. I've never really had to experience roommates before, but I love reading people's experiences on it. I imagine it would be hard to find a happy medium when your routines are so different.

  8. Like Aisling, I've never had the opportunity to live with a roommate. However, I've heard my share of stories about roommates and some of them weren't the most civilized stories. Like you said, I think it is a matter of respect. Once you learn to respect each other, I'm sure things get easier.

  9. Thanks God my roomate is the best one, I have been living with her for the last 3 years. We are not the best friends but we respect each other, eventhough we are fom two opposite cultures, Chinese and Colombian. My tips to survive with a roomate are, to be respectful, to not try to impose rules ( that would come naturally), to be honest and obviusly to pay your part of the rent on time!. If you follow these simple rules, your life will be easy.

  10. My roommate in first year ended up being the best and we lived together for 4 years total. The girl across from on the other hand was nuts. I was so lucky to have a roommate I got along with.

  11. I lived with roomates for four years and agree you need to respect eachother. I lived in an apartment-style res my first year, consisting of 2 of my very good friends from my hometown and two girls we didn't know. We constantly were butting heads with one of the girls; however, finally we decided to stop being stubborn and began to respect eachother. It made quite the difference.