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The Ins and Outs of Roommate Relationships

Kennesaw State University


As a parent with a student who decides to enhance their college experience by living on or near campus, you likely have a lot of questions and maybe some concerns about this new living experience. We’ve included some helpful tips for both you and your student to keep in mind during this new journey!

While the answers to all these questions will affect your student’s college experience, there is another important factor that can have a big impact: “Will my student get along with their roommate?” Communication is key! Open, honest and considerate dialogue between roommates will help foster a fun, comfortable and safe living space for everyone and can result in wonderful life-long friendships. The more each individual focuses on the things they have in common with their roommate, the happier everyone will be.

1 | When things get hot, keep your cool.

When two or more people move into the same space, odds are that their preferences will differ when it comes to how to set the thermostat. Encourage your student to have a discussion with their roommates, and come up with a comfortable temperature everyone can agree on, both for the air conditioning during the warmer months and heat during the winter.

2 | The more the merrier?

Most students are excited to meet their roommate and find that they have a lot in common. The roommate relation-ship can change, however, if one roommate enjoys more social activity than the other. Take some time to discuss this possibility with your student before they move into the residence hall. Your student may enjoy finding a good balance between their studies and spending time with friends but have a roommate who prefers to focus on quiet study. En-courage your student to voice any concerns they may have in this area when they work with their Resident Assistant on the roommate contract.

3 | Keep it clean.

Cleanliness issues can lead to discord among roommates. One person’s definition of “clean” may not match up with that of their roommate. Some students have grown up having their own bedroom and bathroom, while others may have shared a bedroom and bathroom with one or more siblings. Encourage your student to get to know a little bit about their roommate’s background. It can really help them anticipate what their roommate means when they say “clean.”

4 | Keep it down!

Does your student like to listen to loud music? Do they prefer peace and quiet while they study? If the roommates disagree about noise levels, encourage your student to bring up the subject in an open and friendly way. A mu-sic-loving student may opt to wear headphones in consideration of their quieter roommate. A student who enjoys peaceful study may not mind studying in a lounge in the residence hall, or the library.

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