You and your roommate(s) are about to start an exciting journey: a journey that probably you are all eager and a little anxious to begin. For many of you getting along with your roommates is something you have worried about. . . and you are not alone.
We recommend that you contact your roommate(s) prior to arriving. It is important to discuss what items you might be able to share (such as a refrigerator), but also a good idea to begin a conversation about other issues that inherently come with sharing space (like sleeping habits and room cleanliness). This conversation will undoubtedly be something that you revisit many times throughout the year.
One of the first things your RA will ask you to complete when you arrive to campus is the Roommate Contract (pdf). The name is a little misleading because it is not a “contract” in the strictest sense of the word. It is more a guide or jumping off point for roommates to start the conversation about sharing space. We suggest taking a look at it and even starting the discussion this summer.
Remember that all of these conversations are ongoing. You will change. Your roommate will change. Undoubtedly you will need to revisit a lot of the “agreements” you make with your roommates throughout the year.
Sharing space can be challenging. You need to remember that the keys to a good roommate relationship involve Communication and Compromise. It is important that you know Residential Life and the entire Wheaton community are here for your support. In particular, your Residential Life Coordinator and Resident Advisors will help you address any issues that arise throughout the year.
Tips for getting off on the right foot…
- Do not have important conversations via social media, email, text, etc. This goes for the summer and beyond. They are all great ways to communicate, though all too often tone and attitude can be misinterpreted online.
- Talk about room set-up, who’s on the top bunk, who’s bringing what, etc. These are all good things to go over before you arrive.
- MOVE IN DAY – Do NOT rush to the room and be the first one there just so you can claim space. This is a shared room and coming in to lay claim to “your” space is not a good way to start a relationship. Remember you are going to be living with these people the entire year.
- Read the Roommate Contract (pdf) and start to think about how you would answer those questions.