Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Most of our students have not shared a room before moving to campus. While the thought of living on campus is exciting, sharing a room may also cause some anxiety. We've found that communication is key to a successful roommate relationship. The earlier you start communicating, the better. If possible, begin your relationship with your roommate well before moving in. We recommend you follow the tips below to lay the foundation for a successful roommate relationship.

Tips for a Successful Roommate Relationship

  1. Contract early. The earlier you contract, the earlier you may select your room and reach out to prospective roommates to see if you’re a good match. Students who contract after room selection ends will be assigned a room and roommate. Learn more by clicking here.
  2. Be up front. You'll complete "Lifestyle Questions" when you complete your housing contract. Your answers to these questions will be used to create your "Student Profile". Questions include how you like your room (tidiness level, temperature and noise); your social habits (room guests and sharing); your interest level in various activities (exercise, video games, outdoors); and your sleep and study habits. Be sure to answer these questions honestly to give prospective roommates a real representation of the real you.
  3. Research potential roommates. When you select or are assigned a room, you'll be able to view roommate contact information (if provided by the roommate) in the same portal where you contracted. We recommend you connect with this roommate through email, phone, social media sites or whatever contact information is provided by the roommate to see if you get along. If you are a good match, great! If not (and if the online room selection is still open), consider checking other rooms with an available space for a potentially better match. If you do not have a roommate, keep checking back online in the housing portal, which is where you completed your contract, to see if a roommate has selected or been assigned your room.
  4. Set room rules with your roommate. Once you have a roommate, set room rules. Be sure to discuss the following topics before you move in: how clean the room/bathroom should be, when you both plan to wake-up and go to bed, how much noise is too much for you, what's okay to share (clothes, shoes, bedding, appliances, etc), asking before using policy for belongings, and your room guest policy. While The Resident Handbook contains guest and visitation policies, roommates still need to agree on specific room rules regarding daytime and overnight guests. Some students designate their room as a retreat to study or rest and prefer to socialize in commons areas. Others are fine with guests hanging out in the room. These are all part of recommended conversations that should take place prior to move in.
  5. Share the purchases and the space. Agree on who’s bringing what for the room (TV, fridge, etc). Sharing is a great way to reduce costs and keep the room from being cluttered.
  6. Embrace new ideas and cultures. We hope you and your roommate are able to introduce each other to new ideas and cultures. This is college – it’s an experience to last a lifetime – enjoy it!
  7. Resolve conflicts. Misunderstandings will happen. Have a conversation on how you both plan to handle conflict before you move in. Once conflict occurs, talk to, not about each other. Don't post things about your roommate on social media. If you need help, see your Resident Assistant BEFORE the conflict escalates!