Living with a Roommate

Before you move into your new residence hall at Montreat, here are a few tips for preparing to live with a roommate.

Plan ahead

Feel free to connect with your roommate during the summer months as to not only get acquainted, but to also plan for bringing items for the room. In coordinating ahead of time, you will be able to maximize the space of the room and also alleviate confusion and clutter on move-in day.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

As incoming students learn about their new roommate, the natural tendency is to look on social media to put a face with a name. While we love the idea of connecting before you arrive, we at Montreat would also caution the reaction to assume you know that person solely based on their social media/web presence. Therefore, we highly recommend connecting on a more authentic level first, before jumping to the online profile.

Developing a healthy roommate relationship

Living with a roommate can be a challenging experience. Most students entering college have never shared a room with another person. In addition, a residence hall room might be smaller than the room you live in at home. Do not despair! A healthy relationship with a roommate in college can be managed, and many result in close relationships that are sometimes maintained long after you have left the college experience. Building a positive roommate relationship takes work, but it is better to put work into this relationship than endure the problems that arise when things do not go well with a roommate.

The key to a successful roommate relationship: Honest, Open, and Frequent Communication:

This should start from the moment you move into the residence halls, and it should continue throughout your entire roommate relationship. When establishing an agreement on how you will live successfully together, think about the issues that are important to you, as well as the expectations that you have for a roommate. Some things to consider discussing are:

  • Are you a morning person who likes to go to bed early so you can get a quick start to your day, or are you someone who stays up late and eases into the day slowly?
  • Do you intend to share personal belongings? If so, is everything in the room O.K for shared use, or are some things off limits?
  • Will there be set times for quiet in the room to permit study and sleep? When will those “quiet” times occur, and how will this be managed?
  • How frequently should guests visit in the room, and are there “no visitation” times that could be set to guarantee periods of privacy in the room?
  • How are you going to work through challenges with each other if they arise?

In addition to setting expectations for each other, you also need to live by the expectations that you set. As a new student at Montreat, you will experience many different situations, and through these experiences your initial expectations may change. You and your roommate may not always see things exactly the same (and that can be a good thing), but you should always work to be sensitive to each other’s needs. Being able to compromise and understand your roommate’s perspective will be important as you work to learn about each other and live together. Sensitivity, ongoing honest open communication, and the ability to listen and hear what your roommate is saying, along with compromise, will move you along the road to successful roommate relationships.