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Successful roommates have noted some key ways to have a good, harmonious relationship. To promote a happy living situation, the Community Standards Initiative of Point Park requires that roommates in University Residence Halls complete a Roommate Agreement. You might also want to check out the Personal Assessment to understand what is important to you in your living situation. 

Get to know each other

Get to know your roommate early on: go to on-campus events together, see a movie and/or eat meals together. By setting aside time to spend with one another, you will begin to understand each other better. Understanding each other is the first step toward building a healthy roommate relationship.

Be open minded

You and your roommate may be very different, which can be a cool thing. People communicate differently, so make a genuine effort to open up to your roommate. Keep a positive attitude and an open mind - you might discover there is much to be learned and enjoyed from someone whose background, culture, values and interests are different from your own.

Communicate expectations

In order to avoid frustration, discuss your expectations - how you think things will go - with your roommate. Keep in mind that you may have to compromise with your roommate because it is extremely normal for roommates to have different expectations. Some topics to address are study habits, sleep schedules, items for sharing, items for personal use, visitation hours and room up-keep.

Be understanding

Sometimes a roommate may just be having a bad day. Listen to your roommate and be understanding; sometimes listening is the best way to find the root of the problem. Living with a roommate and college, in general, is a new adjustment period for everyone. Give your roommate the benefit of the doubt before criticizing his/her actions.

Talk it out

Most problems can be solved with communication. Do not let problems build up. Talk openly and honestly about concerns with your roommate. Just remember that timing is everything. If you think your roommate is having a bad day, hold off until an optimal opportunity for addressing the situation arises.

Give each other space

Sharing a room is a big adjustment for many people. Even if you are the best of friends, always being together may be too much of a good thing. You will both need time alone. Most of the time roommates have different class schedules; but, if you don't have a natural "break" from each other, talk about creating one.

Ask before you borrow

Everyone has a comfort level for sharing items with roommates. always ask before you borrow something; it will help avoid roommate frustration. Also, remember that just because your roommate has let you use something in the past, he/she may not want you using it all the time.

Schedule study times

Let each other know in advance when important events (papers, projects, tests) are coming up. With advance notice your roommate may be able to make other plans in order to give you some quiet time.

Don't stress

Not all roommates become best friends, but most naturally learn how to get along with each other. In the unlikely event that you have an unbearable living situation, room changes take place after classes begin.

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