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Roommates: how to soothe the feud

Submitted by Taylor Hoffard on September 5, 2012 – 7:19 pmOne Comment

Getting along with a new roommate, whether they are a childhood friend or the university placed you together, can be exhausting.

You and your roommate might have the same core values, but everyone has their pet peeves — including your roommate.

Figuring out who buys what and who cleans what can be difficult, especially if they don’t think they need to contribute or share chores.

In this case, communication is the golden ticket. Letting problems pile up  makes everything awkward and arguements will escalate if issues are not discussed.

Setting rules in the beginning may be awkward, but can help prevent future disagreements.

When it comes to chores, make a list of everything that needs to be done, then decide who will accomplish each duty. You can also rotate the jobs so one person doesn’t have the same chores each week. Also, split the grocery list or shop together. Someone can buy the milk, the other toilet paper.

According to, compromising with your new roommate allows both of you to feel more at ease.

Compromise does not always have to mean sacrifice. It means working together to determine the rules for your new living arrangement that you are both comfortable with.

Roommates should be reasonable and considerate of each other, said Mike Kirk of UALR’s Career Planning and Counseling Services.

Expecting mutual respect is not too much to ask or give.  When it comes to overnight guests, make sure your roommate is okay with it ahead of time.

Whether it is about cleaning or playing loud music, letting your roommate know what makes you uncomfortable is important, according to

“To get along you will need patience and a willingness to communicate with the person you are sharing living space with for the semester,” Kirk said. “So the sooner you have a frank conversation to establish some basic ground rules to keep harmony in your shared living space the better.”

Everyone has their own personal “bubble.” Some don’t mind if others are in their room, others do. Some like order, others couldn’t care less. To be on the safe side, regard your roommates belongings with more respect that your own.

Respecting personal space and asking to use their belongings is vital to having a peaceful living environment.

Gossiping about your roommate can cause a negative living experience, Kirk said.

Using basic manners goes a long way. Saying please and thank you is not only polite, but lets your roommate know you are trying to be courteous.

If you see that your roommate had a really tough day at school or work, just offering to let them talk about it goes far.

The golden rule is always a good place to start with a new roommate. You may not be life-long friends, but you can have a pleasant living experience.


One Comment »

  • Scott D says:

    I appreciate the article as I prepare for college and not knowing who my room mate will be. I’m also deaf so that will be a challenge for me. Thanks