How to become lifelong friends with your college roommate, or just learn to tolerate each other.

All month, UP is releasing articles and videos to help the Class of 2019 hit the ground running when they move in on August 27. See all of them here.

Today, UP junior Adele Kennedy offers some tips and insights into getting along with your roommate(s).


One of the toughest transitions into college life is embracing the dorming lifestyle. On one hand it can be great: late night study sessions, junk food potlucks, and increasingly escalating prank wars.

Never say never to a key-tar band.

The flip side is learning to deal with someone else’s crusty socks right next to you, or sharing a bathroom with a bunch of troglodytes that have never even heard of cleaning.

At University of Portland we believe our campus community is a diverse, respectful, and overall rad group of students, but no matter how great a person might be, being a roommate with them can still offer challenges.

Did we just become best friends? Yep!

Here’s a couple of tips culled from the internet that will hopefully make your roommate situation a happy and healthy one.

The topics include defining expectations, general cleanliness, and how to resolve conflict without resorting to passive aggressive sticky notes.

Asking questions to get to know each other is a great start. Head out and grab lunch on campus or hit up Fred Meyer (the closest grocery store to campus) for a quick shopping trip. Setting up expectations you both have for a situation is a great way to avoid conflict later on.


This article is a great resource for some questions to start off with, as well as some conflict resolution tips.

This is a great first step

Starting with the basics establishes where your limits are. If one of you is intensely private and the other is a social butterfly, this can help you come to some common ground for guests and visitors.

If you realize you have some major incompatibility issues from the get go that can’t be talked out, it may be time to visit your RA and see if someone can help mediate or set up a better communication channel for you.


These ten tips can help define how you each like your living space to feel. Issues ranging from temperature control to waking hours can make a more comfortable environment.

If you realize that maybe you might be the problem (naturally messy, a night-owl, maybe some only child syndrome thrown in there), try to be more conscious of your bad habits. Make it a point for the first couple of weeks to put away everything right after you use it — soon enough it’ll become a habit and save you a ton of grief in the future.


This article details how the author learned to change her habits to better live with her two roommates in their converted triple.

Try to bond with each other — seriously nothing can be more of a lifelong friendship maker than the first year of college. Your first year can be hard, and having someone to support you makes it a little easier.


Rookie has a great, no nonsense take on how to live with each other in harmony, and even fall in roomie love by the end of the first semester.


Sometimes you just need the basics boiled down to a list. Print this bad boy out from College Juice or make your own roomie commandments and display them prominently. Having it in writing can settle an argument really quickly.


Finally, your RA is always a great resource. Seriously they’re trained to deal with this stuff, and most likely, they’ve been there before. Never forget that Hall Staff is there to help you through rough moments. It’s not easy, but hopefully some of these tips can help make the transition to dorm life a little easier.

Please don’t use these, seriously, you’re just making it harder on everyone.
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