Setting room expectations is only the start. Even if you’re the best of friends, you’ll have to work together to maintain a good roommate relationship. You will also need to do the following:
- Be open and friendly: Especially if you are meeting each other for the first time, being open and friendly is important. Remember this does not mean that you have to concede to everything that your roommate(s) want. You and your roommate(s) may have different values, habits, needs, and lifestyles. It will take some time to adjust to each others’ schedules and needs.
- Communicate: If something about the roommate relationship is bothering you, first talk with your roommate privately. Try talking in a neutral location (outside of your room) and respectfully express your concerns. Be ready to keep an open mind and renegotiate room expectations as needed.
- Be understanding with each other: You and your roommate will both have good and difficult days. The understanding and support of a roommate can make a big difference. Remember this the time when you most need to be patient, understanding, and forgiving. Allowing each other a little time and space can also help a lot.
- •Talk about your study and social time needs: As the academic year progresses and you begin to establish new relationships, your needs for time alone with your friends will change. Remember that your roommate may not want your boyfriend/girlfriend or friends in your room all the time. Be sure to discuss these issues with your roommate. Don’t forget to spend time with just each other so that you can continue to develop a positive roommate relationship.
- Be respectful of each other: You and your roommate will need some time to get to know each other before you are ready to assume anything. As you get to know each other be courteous and remember to do the following: ask before you borrow items, pick up your dirty clothes, wash your dishes, clean up after yourself, remind friends not to call you in the middle of the night, plan your study time so your roommate can sleep, get used to using your headphones for the stereo, computer, and Iron Box, and learn to take a message that your roommate can understand. These might seem like little things, but they can help a roommate relationship stay on track throughout the year.
Most Manipal students arrive on campus having never shared a room before. It will be an adjustment as you learn to live with someone that you are meeting for the first time. The room belongs to all residents of the room and you will need to be ready to compromise. If you keep an open mind and remain flexible, you will find that learning to live with one another can be a rewarding experience and may just help you find a new lifelong friend.