Living With a Roommate

At SUNY Oswego, we believe the roommate experience is crucial to each student's learning experience in college. The idea of sharing a relatively small living space with someone else is probably at least a little bit unsettling. However, living with a roommate can be one of the most significant experiences of college!

A few things to keep in mind:

  • All first year students are required to have roommates. Even though it may be a challenging experience, we are confident it will be a learning experience. In order to start off "on the right foot,"
  • We suggest that new students communicate with their roommates prior to coming to school. This allows students to talk about things like what each roommate is planning to bring to school (i.e., stereo, television, carpet, any authorized pets, etc.). It also helps to break the ice so that that first meeting on opening day can be more comfortable.
  • You and your roommate may share some commonalities; you will also learn that you are different from each other in many ways. All residents are required to complete the Roommate Agreement (pdf 177kb) booklet during the first days just after move in. This is a great time to get to know your roommate and have a discussion about how you want to use your space.

What if I don't get along with my roommate?
Roommates don't always agree on everything. That's OK. But if you and your roommate are having difficulties living together, there are ways to work it out. Moving to a different room without first trying to work things out with your roommate is not an option! So, here's what you need to do to begin to work out those differences:

  • First - talk with your roommate! Let him/her know what's on your mind. Roommates aren't mind readers. Maybe he or she has no idea that you would like something to change!
  • Second - If you talk with your roommate and aren't able to work out the issues, talk with your resident assistant, resident mentor or graduate resident mentor. They are available to help you and they've been trained to help people work out conflicts.
  • Third - So, you've tried talking with your roommate, AND you've received some help from your RA/RM/GRM, but you still have some concerns ... now it's time to get the hall director involved. In some cases, the RHD may coach you a little on how to approach your roommate differently; in other cases, however, s/he may meet with the two of you together to help you communicate with one another.

More often than not, roommate conflicts can be resolved by using one, two or all three of these approaches. If your situation isn't resolved by using these methods, your hall director can advise you regarding the next step(s) to take.


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