A Roommate’s Guide to Peaceful Living

Co-living is a challenge.

Whether it’s your first or last year, whether living on campus or off, the main challenge is to be a good roommate. No matter if you’re best friends or total opposites, make sure to kick the year off right with these roommate survival guide basics:

Meet and Greet

When getting to know your roommate, keep an open mind.  Penn State is a diverse university; embrace it and don’t take it for granted. There is so much to learn about your new roommate, which can be easily discovered through a stroll downtown or lunch on College Ave. 

Take time to get to know each other’s background by asking about hometowns, majors, interests, friends, beliefs and extracurricular activities.  If you find a common interest or hobby, get involved together on campus as a way to bond and also connect with the rest of the university.

Get Down to Business

Although not necessarily fun to talk about, there are essential topics roommates should discuss openly and honestly.  Topics that make living together more peaceful include splitting chores, quiet hours, noise preferences, study habits, parties, guests and schedules.  Learning about one another’s preferences and living habits, as well as setting boundaries in the beginning, limits the chance of tense disputes in the future.

Good Qualities to Have

Respect and compromise. These two characteristics guarantee a peaceful living situation.

For many students, the dorm is a first experience in room sharing. Let’s face it, not everyone wants to share clothes, and loud music blasting the night before an exam may not be your cup of tea.  Respect one another’s personal space by asking before you touch or borrow belongings.  When it comes to sharing the space, compromise is essential, whether you’re trying to solve a touchy issue, or simply striving to keep things equal and fair.

The Floor Community

Keep in mind that living on a floor surrounds you with opportunity. Keep your door open and you’ll meet people. Also, another key to establishing a good floor community is to understand the role of an RA.