Getting along with your roommate(s)

Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Incoming MU freshman Angela Trubiano, left, chats with 2006 MU alumnae Ashley Moore while moving into Hudson Hall in this Missourian file photo. It can take some time to get to know a new roommate, but take some time to let the friendship develop and give each other space.

COLUMBIA — A randomly selected roommate isn’t as scary as you might think.

Meeting new people is a huge part of freshman year, and a new roommate can mean a new best friend.

Living with someone can be difficult, but not if you take the time to get to know the person. Just don’t push it. No one expects you to be close right away. Get to know each other at a natural pace.

Connecting on Facebook ahead of time is an easy way to get to know a little bit about each other initially. Before moving in, get in touch and decide how to divvy up the room. Feel free to share things to make more of the limited room space.

This is not high school

You may have heard people say living with your best friend will end your friendship, and who wants that?

Keep in mind that life in college is different than it is in high school. You will be seeing a lot of each other, so in order to keep the friendship alive and well, find some space.

If you get on each other’s nerves, communicate openly and don’t jump to conclusions. Your roommate may not know that there is even a problem until you speak up.

When something is bothering you, talk about it immediately. Many friendships can be salvaged with open communication. That will make living together as fun as you hope it will be.

Figure out the boundaries

Borrowing each other’s stuff can be convenient in a tight situation, but could be a fast track to over-stepping the line with your new roomie.

Always ask before borrowing, whether it's food, the printer or clothes. Shooting your roommate a quick text is an easy solution. That way, you don't cross the line.

Be respectful of everyone's space. Make sure you don’t commandeer the room. You each deserve your own area and will be grateful for it.

If the relationship tanks

If the relationship deteriorates, there are solutions. Seek out a student staff member. They are trained in conflict resolution and will be able to sort out a sticky situation.

You can put together a roommate contract that sets specific guidelines to follow in the room. A student staff member can walk you through the procedure.

As a last resort

Requests to move are available at for serious instances. If there is a problem, make sure to talk to a student staff member and hall coordinator. They can cover the procedure for requests to move.

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