It is important to create an environment of mutual respect and open communication when sharing a space with another person. Even if your roommate is someone you have previously known, you are still new to being roommates and living with another person will show you things that you never knew about your friend.
You should begin by addressing potential problem areas and getting them out in the open so that there will be fewer surprises down the road. The Huskymate Agreement is a form that you and your roommate(s) will complete in Roompact at the start of your time living together. This agreement is a communication tool for community guidelines that you can set up with each other in addition to the expectations from the housing contract and student code of conduct.
Most roommate conflicts are the result of miscommunication or, in some cases, a lack of communication between each other. If you can communicate effectively and respect each other as roommates, it will be much easier to develop a comfortable living environment for both of you.
Sample Questions to Ask Your Roommate
- What are you bringing for the room (TV, minifridge, microwave)?
- What types of decorations are your planning to bring?
- Is anyone coming to help you move in?
- What time are you arriving to campus?
- How do you react when you first meet a new person?
- What are your hobbies/interests?
- When you would rather be left alone, what do you do?
- Do you snooze your alarm a lot in the mornings, or do you tend to wake up on the first one and get your day started?
- Do you like to sleep with the window open or closed? Do you prefer the room to be warm or cool?
- What do you usually do/how do you typically react when you're feeling upset, angry, or frustrated?
- What is something that always cheer you up?
Sample Topics to Discuss with your Roommate
- Study habits (times/areas)
- Noise levels in the room
- Security (locking the room door)
- Having visitors over
- Overnight guests
- Cleaning (how often and by whom)
- Borrowing items
- Sleeping habits
- Pet peeves
- Food sharing/preparing
- Temperature of room
Roommate Myth #1: My roommate is going to be my best friend
Your roommate is not always going to become your best friend. Some strong friendships can be built with roommates, but not every friendship will turn into a lasting “best friend”. You do not need to be close friends to be good roommates, but the important part is that you can communicate and respect each other. We find that living with someone who is not your best friend helps preserve those close friendships, as you can still spend time with your best friend but not have to share a living space together.
Roommate Myth #2: Living with someone you know from home is better than a “random roommate”
Living with friends from home may not always be the best fit. Living with someone you don’t already know can be a great opportunity to get to know someone new! Often existing friendships can be strained during the transition to college when students aren’t able to give each other the same amount of space as they did before coming to college.
Being friends with someone or knowing them before UConn might not mean that they have the same expectations for sharing a room as you do, which means that they might have a different idea for how neat a room should be kept or not realize that you need all of the lights in the room to be out before you can fall asleep!
The majority of new students are placed with a person who they have never met before move-in day, and we match these students based on the housing application lifestyle questions to try to match students with similar preferences.
Roommate Myth #3: My roommate is too different from me–it will never work!
Living with someone who is not exactly the same as you can be one of the best and most meaningful experience while you are at UConn. By living with someone who has a different perspective, you can learn about other cultures, beliefs, and experiences.
We also know that there are times when the thought of living with someone who believes things that you do not or has customs that are not the same as you can be overwhelming. If this happens, we encourage you to try to take a step back from the situation. What part of the situation is frustrating to you? Have you spoken with your roommate about this issue before? We encourage you to discuss concerns with each other as they occur and try not to let things build up. You will have a Resident Assistant (RA) on your floor who can offer advice, and we also have professional full-time Hall Director(s) for your area who can also talk through concerns and help facilitate these discussions.
Roommate Myth #4: If I don’t get along with my roommate, I’ll just room change to a new space
We have a room change process for students to request new assignments periodically throughout the year, but our staff tries to have students address concerns that they may be experiencing to avoid being in the same situation with multiple roommates. Many times, we find that when students work with their Resident Assistant (RA) and Hall Director(s), they can develop communication strategies to still respectfully share a room with another student. If a room change is necessary, our staff will encourage students to use these strategies with their next roommate to create a more positive atmosphere.
Each student must make their own decision regarding changing assignments and we cannot take requests for a roommate to remove or swap a person out of their assigned room. The room change process does often allow students to request to move together, and students can request to be roommates. In that event, our staff will do our best to identify if a fully open room is available to move both students into, but this type of assignment change is based on our available vacancies and is not guaranteed.
Please note that students should not behave in any way that is unwelcoming or impacts your roommate’s ability to respectfully coexist in the room with you.
Roommate Success Tips
- Be Respectful: Discuss the importance of respecting one another and potentially link to bias incident reporting page.
- Disagreements are Normal: It’s normal to disagree with one another and can sometimes be a healthy form of discussions to see another person’s perspective.
- Decide when and when not to confront your roommate(s). Avoiding confrontation sometimes means that you are avoiding a problem that needs to be addressed sooner or later. This confrontation can be the first step to a resolution and the first step toward creating a respectful living environment. But sometimes confrontation fails, especially if the timing of the conversation is wrong. Avoid starting a discussion like this when your roommate is running out the door or about to go to bed. It’s also best to hold off if emotions are already running high. Judge what time is best to approach your roommate or ask if you can both schedule a time to sit down and talk.
- Try to understand your roommate’s point of view. You can agree to disagree, but try to make an honest effort to understand where your roommate is coming from and understand why they may not agree with you.
- If you are wrong about something, admit it. If you owe a person an apology, give it. Nobody likes being wrong, but it goes a long way to recognize if you may have taken a misstep.
- Have fun! Living on campus is a great experience and you should have fun while you are here. Just remember that there are other people around that you can spend time with and that if you get to know your neighbors and other building residents it will really make the most of your living experience!
Sharing Spaces Module in HuskyCT
Sharing Spaces is a reflective module that was developed to help residents prepare to live with a roommate at UConn. Sharing Spaces features videos of UConn students talking about their roommate experiences and was designed to provide residents with information and ideas that will be helpful when developing a positive roommate relationship. Throughout Sharing Spaces, participants will be given the opportunity to personally reflect and think about developing a positive relationship with their roommate(s).
First-year students have access to Sharing Spaces during the summer/winter before they arrive to campus. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Access Sharing Spaces
• Go to Husky CT
• Click ‘Login’ and enter your NetID Single Sign On credentials
• Under the ‘My Non-Class Sites’ please find and click on ‘Sharing Spaces: Roommate Success’
• On the left side of the page, click on ‘Sharing Spaces Module’
• Complete the Pre-Module Assessment. Upon completion of each section of the module the next section
will become available so that you can progress.