Living on-campus offers an amazing opportunity to meet new people. While moving to the residence halls or on-campus apartments can be an exciting time, it can also be a time of change as you navigate living with roommates. Here are some tips to help make the situation less stressful!
Remember, not to judge before you meet. Give yourself a chance to get to know them. All relationships take time and patience.
Many times college roommates become lifelong friends. And sometimes they are just the person you share a room with. Either way, communication and respect are key. You will meet a lot of people here at UNH so no worries if you and your roommate don’t hit it off right away.
Whether or not you know your roommate, here are a few things to discuss prior to moving in:
- What are you bringing?
- Extra furniture or storage units?
- Any significant health issues or allergies?
- Are you generally neat or messy?
- What are your sleeping habits?
- How do you like to study?
- How do you feel about friends/partners visiting?
- What is your stance on borrowing between roommates?
- What is your understanding of UNH’s drug and alcohol policy?
UNH has firm policies regarding the underage use of alcohol or illegal drugs. If students are found responsible for breaking these policies, they may face eviction from University Housing. It is very important that you discuss your expectations in this area with your roommate(s).
Communication is the key to any successful relationship! The person you're sharing a room with cannot read your mind. So if something is bothering you, speak up! You probably cannot read minds either, so ask before you act.
No roommate is perfect, and that includes YOU. If your roommate approaches you about something, don't get upset or immediately defensive. Listen to what they have to say, and don't interrupt them. You'll get the opportunity to present your side of the issue. It's not always easy to confront your roommate about something, so you should respect that they cared enough to talk to you about it.
Start a conversation, not an argument
If you need to talk to your roommate about something, be sure to choose your words and tone of voice wisely. You'd probably be upset if a person is yelling at you and it might start a fight. If something is really bothering you, take the time to cool down before you fly off the handle. You'll have a much more productive conversation with your roommate.
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all
If you feel tempted to gossip about your roommate to your friends down the hall or on social media. DON'T DO IT! Imagine how upset you would be if your roommate said something hurtful behind your back. Venting is only a short-term fix. You should take the kinder and more mature route and actually talk to your roommate about it. It's not always easy to call someone out on an annoying habit, but at least it's taking steps to resolve the issue.
Assume good intentions
You probably have an annoying habit, ask your family or close friends. It's also pretty likely that your roommate will do something that annoys you. Don't make a mistake and assume that they are doing that just to bother you. Ask them about it! When something is bothering you we suggest politely asking them about it. Asking these questions can seem challenging, but will help you move forward in your roommate relationship!
Find something that you like or respect about your roommate
Get beyond appearances or stereotypes and get to know the person (or people) you are sharing your space with. Everyone has something interesting about them. Talk to them and find out what it is!
Be familiar with the Guest Policy
You can't have an overnight guest without advance permission from all of your roommates. Even though you may feel you have a right to have your guests over, it's your roommates' room too. If they aren't comfortable with the situation, you need to respect their wishes and they must do the same for you.
Have fun with the situation!
If you put positive energy into the relationship, chances are that something good will come out of it. Don't look at having a roommate as a problem. It's an opportunity to learn about yourself- and maybe you'll even make a friend or two in the process!
Ask for help
Handling roommate conflicts can be tough, which is why UNH trains our RAs and Hall Directors in conflict mediation. If you're having an issue with your roommate which you cannot resolve on your own, reach out to Hall Staff. Your RA or Hall Director can give you advice on how to talk to your roommate, or they can help mediate a conversation between you.
Stay polite and don't assume!
Remember to be respectful and polite, even if you’ve known them for years. Don’t just assume that they’ll be okay with something. Always ask what they think, from putting up a new poster to inviting mutual friends to spend the night.
The past is the past
Don’t let any past conflicts you may have had spoil your roommate experience.
Remember people change
While there are likely qualities that led to being roommates, be open to change. Don’t be surprised or hurt if you and your roommate have separate groups of friends. Expanding your social networks is all part of your college adventure.