Nearly all of the students who come to SFUAD have private rooms at home. Those who do share a room with a sibling are in spaces larger than most of our double and triple rooms. Add to this formula that most students have never lived away from home, lived with a stranger or coped with the stress of a SFUAD curriculum, and the atmosphere for problems is apparent. How do we overcome this? By deliberate discussions about the basic fundamentals of social beings: asking permission, respecting the wishes of others, compromise, and sharing. Here is what we share with residents:
- You and your roommate have most likely come to college with different values, beliefs, and customs. Differences can be exciting, but they can also offer new challenges to your interpersonal skills.
- Building a foundation of open communication can enhance roommate success. Start by becoming acquainted with each other so you know what to expect.
- Some of the goals of sharing a room are to create an atmosphere where both your personal and academic needs can be met, and it is always nice if a friendship can develop as well! Keep in mind that your roommate/suitemates/apartment mates are not going to be just like you. You will need to adjust and compromise. Being a Good Roommate Means . . .
- Talking to each other with no outside distractions
- Not feeling like you have to be best friends
- Keeping a good sense of humor
- Borrowing only with permission
- Giving studying and sleeping top priority
- Trying to be neat
- Taking accurate phone messages
- Discussing potential areas of conflict
- Being open to compromise
- Being considerate of your roommates’ privacy
- Being honest and assertive, and standing up for yourself
- Filling out the roommate contract
- Asking your RA or HD staff member for help and assistance