The Roommate Experience

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Jennifer Hamblin
Assistant Director
Residence Life

Living with a roommate can be a wonderful experience. You have twice the amount of stuff in the room, twice the number of friends visiting, and twice the number of jokes to laugh at. However, we know that living with a person who is very different or even very similar to oneself can be trying. Sometimes living with a roommate can mean twice the number of arguments, half the amount of uninterrupted sleep, and little privacy. There are challenges to living with a new person, but as a parent, there are some things you can do to help make the college living experience enjoyable for all.

  • Be a good listener. Sometimes your child needs an unbiased ear to vent to when they have a fight with their roommate. Be patient and sympathetic.
  • What would you do? Sometimes a solution may seem simple to you but inconceivable to your son or daughter. Offering small suggestions may be a big help.
  • Help them to cool down. Sometimes a student will call in the heat of the moment. The best option may be to help them cool down before jumping to conclusions.
  • Follow up with him/her. When the student calls, they may be very angry, but as soon as they get off the phone, they make up with their roommate. Check back to be sure that the problem has been fixed.
  • Let them make their own decisions. This is the hardest of all the tips. As a parent you want to protect your child, but in order for them to grow, they need to work things out for themselves.

Moving to a new room is not always the best option. Help the student learn to solve problems. That way, they have really gained a true education on how to compromise.