Throughout college, I've had two roommates, both of which were my best friends. I lived with one friend in the dorms for a semester and another for a year in the dorms and then for a semester in an apartment. I'm going to be getting a new roommate soon, so I decided to revisit past issues as far as rooming together goes.
My first year at UW-Whitewater, we were given a Roommate Living Agreement form to look over with our roommates and sign then return it to our Resident Assistant. I found many things in this agreement to be helpful and smoothed over several disagreementss throughout the year making it easier for us to confront them and resolve them quickly.
The Roommate Living Agreement: Roommate Communication
This is an agreement between the residents of __________________________________________. We are committed to the following expectations and will make every effort to meet these expectations. In the event that the agreement needs to be changed, or revisited, we will mutually discuss the change and revise. Listed below are several areas that should be discussed.
- Can you study with music, computer or the TV on or do you need complete silence?
- What are your needs to study successfully?
- Can you study with guests over?
- What is the secret to effective communication with you?
- How do we confront eachother?
- How would you like me to take messages for you?
- When do you like to go to bed?
- When will you be getting up?
- Do you have separate alarms? Will your alarm wake up your roommate?
- What's acceptable while the other is sleeping?
- Do we make the bed?
- This is something that you should know about me...
- Any cultural habits I should know about?
Cleaning the Room:
- How are we going to share the cleaning responsibilities?
- How often will the room be cleaned?
- Who will do what?
Utilization of Space:
- Is it okay to share? If so, who can use what?
- If you don't have a loft, do you want one?
- Set up of room, how's it going to be?
- What is off-limits?
- Can we agree to always carry our keys?
- Use of phone/answering machine?
- Use of TV and stereo?
- Can we use eachother's CDs and/or DVDs?
- Do we both have computers? If not can I use yours? Do's and Don't's for sharing a computer?
- Can I use your printer? If so, how should we share paper costs?
- What rules do we want with having guests?
- What about over-night guests?
- What guidelines need to be set for significant others?
- How will we share the responsibility of taking out the recycling/trash?
- How often should the bins be emptied?
- How high will we let the trash pile up?
- When is it allowed to be on?
- When should it always be off?
- It should never be on wihout the other's knowledge...
Respect of Privacy:
- How are we going to respect eachother's privacy?
- How do we know what is confidential and what isn't?
I hope to go over a few of these things with my new roommate and hopefully we'll find them to be just as helpful as they were the first time around. Thanks for reading!