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Roommate Expectations Dialogue

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Elizabeth Studebaker

on 5 September 2015

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Transcript of Roommate Expectations Dialogue

Plan a time to talk with your roommate. Use this document to begin a dialogue about your hopes and expectations for your room this year.

It might feel uncomfortable or awkward to start these conversations, but communicating now can help to make your room a comfortable place to live for the rest of the year!
Rule #2
Remember: Your roommate cannot read your mind!
• Since you come from unique families and backgrounds you have different expectations about what it means to be a good roommate.

• The best way to get along with your roommate and to help her understand what you want is to kindly and specifically TELL HER your expectations.

Rule #3
Fight Fair!
As you experience different expectations you will have conflict. Keep these tips in mind to disagree well.

• Avoid words like “always” and “never”
"You always play your music too loud."
"You never clean your side of the room."

• Use “I” statements like:
“I feel ______________ when _________. Could we _______?”
Roommate Questions

Take turns asking each other the following questions.

Listen carefully (without speaking) while your roommate is speaking.
Rule #1
Solve problems while they are small.
If it bothers you that your roommate watches Netflix until 4am, talk to her about it now (gently and respectfully); don’t wait until Finals Week when you’re really angry about it.

Plan to revisit these Roommate questions regularly to give you the chance to talk about what is working well and what is not—before little problems become big!
Roommate Expectations Dialogue
Don’t wait for problems to grow.
There will be conflict.
Address it kindly;
don’t hide from it.

• I feel uncomfortable when we have guests in our room for several hours at a time. Could we talk about scheduling some times when we agree not to have guests over?

• I feel disrespected when your music is loud when I am trying to sleep. Could we talk about when we each need quiet in the room?

• I feel stressed when there are dirty dishes left around our room.
Could we make a plan for chores in our room?

Try These Examples:
1. What are some things that are going well in our room so far?

2. How do you feel about other people using your food/belongings/clothes?

3. How do you feel about having guests hanging out in our room/spending the night? How much advance notice should I give you if I am having a guest over?

4. How often do you think we should vacuum/take out the trash? What other chores do we need to do in our room? How would you like to divide up those chores?

5. How have you been sleeping? Is there anything I am doing that is making it difficult for you to get enough sleep? Do you have any ideas for how we could fix this?

6. If you are doing something that bothers me, what is the best way for me to let you know?
(It might feel easier to write a note, but it’s easy to misinterpret written communication. A kind, direct approach is usually the best way to do this, even though it may feel awkward sometimes.)

7. Something that you do that makes you a good roommate is. . . .

8. What is something that I can do differently to be an even better roommate?

9. When can we talk about these questions next month?

Suitemate Questions:
Don't forget to talk to your suitemates too!

1. Who will clean the toilet, shower, sink + mirror, floor?
Some people assign one of these tasks to each person/week.
Some people take turns cleaning everything for a week.

2.. What time do you usually go to bed/wake up?
3. Have we been noisy at these times?

4. What is going well in our suite?
5. What could we do to improve our relationship?
6. What is a good way to tell you if something is bothering me?

Living with another person can always be messy, but keep in mind that “mess equals growth” and these conflicts are opportunities to grow!

If there are times when you run into conflict that is difficult to resolve, talk with your roommate first (Matt. 18) and if that doesn’t work, please feel free to come to your RA or RD for help in navigating these challenging situations.

We look forward to hearing about how these conversations go!
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