Living with a roommate can be stressful, especially when you don’t know each other. It’s a common situation for most new college and university students and poses a few challenges. But not all roommate experiences are bad, in fact, some people meet their lifelong friends in school and their roommates are one of them.

We’ve put together a few tips to help make your roommate experience a positive and enjoyable one.


Communication is the key to any successful relationship, whether it be with a significant other, family members and friends. So it should come as no surprise that this is the most useful tool in a roommate relationship too. Be honest and open about your expectations and try to be considerate. Not everyone likes to listen to loud music, stay out all night partying and leave dirty dishes and clothes lying around. Make a list of the things that you know about yourself and find out what you have in common. Finding out where your differences are will help to come up with compromises for a happy and conducive environment. Hashing out these details in advance will save you from a lot of conflict in the future.

Problem Solving

Make sure to handle any and all problems the moment they come up. Don’t let issues fester until they are completely unresolvable; if no one knows there is a problem then no one can do anything to change it either. Wouldn’t you rather address these things while they are still small and both parties can talk calmly and rationally with one another? Address any and all issues head on, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

Roommate Boundaries

So this tip may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised! Don’t touch your roommate’s stuff without asking, respect their privacy!! And while we’re at it, remember that 2 or more people may be sharing the same space, so it might be a good idea to run any parties or get-togethers by your roommates first. As already stated not everyone can study with loud music or a party going on. Be considerate!

Remember to Lock the Doors!

Again, may seem like common sense, until you live with someone who is constantly forgetting to lock up when they leave the house. It’s not just your personal belongings you’re putting at risk! If this is a problem for you, try not being the last one to leave, or maybe look at getting an automatic lock installed.

BFF’s Aren’t for Everyone…

Remember that just because your roommates, doesn’t mean that you are instantly going to click and spend every waking moment together. Sure you want to get along, but try setting up some boundaries and respect their space. You don’t want to have to feel obligated to spend time together and trying to force a closer bond can really strain the relationship and cause an awkward living environment.


You and your roommate may not to see eye to eye on everything. Depending on religion, culture, diet choices or restrictions, there are a lot of areas in one’s preferences that require you to have an open mind. Try to be open to accepting different perspectives and lifestyles, you may just find that by leaving yourself open to diversity and new experiences to be worthwhile.

Embrace Change

So we’ve all heard the stories about “finding yourself” or the “old college try”. So remember that as you learn, grow and have new experiences at college, your roommate will to. Change is common and expected; this will breed new challenges for you and your roommate. Don’t be concerned if you grow apart, what’s important is that you can provide a stable and safe environment for one another. Embrace it!

Do Unto to Others…

Roommates can be challenging, you may want to kill each other have the time, but go back to those school yard days… and treat others how you would like to be treated. Respect and trust go both ways so lead by example. If things still don’t work out, you can hold your high knowing that you did everything to make it work without regrets.

Related Read: Parting ways with your Roommate