Can’t we just get along?

Emily Rippe and Emily Rippe

So you are thinking about moving off campus and into an apartment or house.

Instead of living by yourself or with one other person, there might be three or four more people entering your daily routine.

Here are some upper-classmen’#39;s tips on living with roommates:


Tip 1

When choosing roommates, make sure they are people who value common goals and interests.

By the time you are ready to move into your own place, you know what you can tolerate, and what you just can’t handle.

Chris Pohlman, junior, lives in a house with three other people.

“I’m a non-smoker who values cleanliness and appreciates people paying their rent on time,” Pohlman said. “These are qualities that my housemates share with me.”

Lindsey Emrick lives in a five-person house. “My roommates and I are all passionate about the same things in life, and we have similar ideas about who we want to be and where we want to go,” she said.

Justin D’Ambrosio, senior, lives in a three-bedroom apartment.

“My roommates and I share some common interests,” D’Ambrosio said. “Two of us even have the same major.”


Tip 2

Remember to appreciate individuality and diversity.

“When I lived in the dorms with my best friend sophomore year, we could not escape each other because we had the same classes, worked at the same place, participated in the same organizations and lived in the same confined space,” D’Ambrosio said.

His story is not uncommon to the many people who live and spend too much time together.

D’Ambrosio and his best friend now live in a larger apartment with a third person.

“We still all share a lot in common, but we have our separate lives as well,” D’Ambrosio said.

A.J. Kuntz lives in a five-person house and has an open mind about living with other people.

“Before moving in with others, you have to understand that everyone is different, and be respectful of others’#39; preferences and lifestyles,” Kuntz said.

“Living with four other guys really forced me to be flexible, and I never rock the boat unless I have to.”


Tip 3

Know how to respect your home and your roommates.

Respect happens to be the most valued quality that people look for in their roommates.

Jen Beach, junior, lives with

five girls.

“All problems stem from a lack of respect,” Beach said.

In terms of respecting your home, it is recommended that you take responsibility for your actions and clean up your own messes.

Kristy Headley, senior, lives in a house with her two friends.

“Since moving into the house, I have become more conscious of the little things I do, like making sure I don’t leave art projects in the middle of the living room floor,” Headley said.

“It’s out of respect for everyone’s common living space.”

Roommates also need to be mindful of the wishes and concerns of the people they live with.

Being responsible for your guests and their actions, keeping your promises, such as following through with assigned chores, and being completely honest with your roommates are only a few examples of ways to show them respect.


Tip 4

Develop strong

communication skills.

Good communication not only helps create a community among roommates, but it also helps settle conflicts if they should arise.

“Communication should take place sooner than later,” Headley said.

“I feel that when discussing issues between roommates, you should not talk until your anger subsides. Take time to reflect upon the

situation, put yourself in your

roommate’s shoes and then discuss your problems.”

Other resources


In print:

Rules for Roommates: The Ultimate Guide to Reclaiming Your Space and Your Sanity

Sharing Spaces : Tips and Strategies on Being a Good College Roommate, Surviving a Bad One, and Dealing with Everything in Between

My Roommate Is Driving Me Crazy!: Solve Conflicts, Set Boundaries, And Survive The College Roommate From Hell


On the Web:

n Roommate finder: