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Roommate Relations

Residence Life spends the month of July pairing up roommates as well as reviewing housing assignments. Roommate notifications will be sent out Aug. 1 and can be viewed online in the myHousing tab of Self-Service Banner. It is important to spend some time contacting your future roommate prior to your arrival at ONU. If at all possible, speak with them on the phone or through a video chat. People are more complex than what they post on Facebook or Twitter, so a true conversation is an important part of getting to know your new roommate. Between the two of you, you’ll want to decide if you are bringing items for the room to share like a refrigerator or a television. You also might want to talk about common decorating themes and personal habits, and share any ideas you have for the upcoming year.

Getting a roommate can be an anxiety-provoking experience. There are a lot of “what ifs” that swirl through a person’s mind. The roommate relationship can make life at college incredibly memorable but not always for the right reasons. Dealing with a roommate conflict can be awkward and uncomfortable, but when done correctly, it can be a great way to learn conflict resolution skills. Here are four tips to make your roommate relationship work:

  1. Do not let problems pile up. Address issues as they happen. It is easier to talk about small issues when there are only one or two; if you let issues build up over time, your roommate will feel attacked as you read a list of everything they have done wrong.
  2. Give each other space. Sometimes, conflict arises because people just spend too much time together. Make other friends, don’t touch each other’s things, and spend some study time in the library.
  3. Apologize and forgive. Too often, conflict is created because someone is too proud or stubborn to say that they are sorry or that they forgive someone. Whether or not you intended to do so, the fact is you might have hurt their feelings. Apologize and move on.
  4. Set rules and boundaries, but be open to compromise. It is important to have rules and boundaries, but remember that life is not always perfect and sometimes you will need to adapt to situations.

Following these steps will not eliminate roommate issues, but it will help to reduce them. The most important thing to remember is that having a roommate is a personal-growth experience; you will encounter conflict, you will encounter awkward situations, and you will get on each other’s nerves. It is how you deal with this conflict and these situations that will define your college residential experience.