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Campus Life

Proper Roommate Etiquette

  1. Figure out who you are
    We aren't asking you to search deep into your soul for an answer. Just realize what kind of person you are when it comes to things like study habits, sleep patterns, likes, dislikes, etc. It'll be much easier to communicate these preferences if you're fully aware of them.
  2. Keep an open mind
    Western brings in students from not only across Canada, but across the globe. That's a lot of different lifestyles meshing together on one campus. Understand that your experiences are not the same as your roommate's, and that our preferences are based on these experiences. Just be open with your roommate and find a middle ground.
  3. Establish boundaries
    Some things that you're comfortable with might be your roommate's worst nightmare. Things like feet on beds, sharing towels/other possessions, invasions of personal space, and listening to vulgar music are some examples of things your roommate might not be okay with. But you'll never know if you never ask. So like... ask...
  4. Set ground rules
    Topics to consider: room temperature, cleanliness, studying, guests, leaving the door open, property and belongings, noise/music, sleep patterns. Establish ground rules at the beginning of the year in your roommate agreement so you have something to lean back on if issues arise.
  5. Follow set ground rules
    Commit to what you have agreed on with your roommate. It isn't an "lol jk" kind of thing!
  6. Face-to-face communication
    Things like passive aggressive sticky notes and frowny-faced Snapchats are not good ways of communicating issues with your roommate! Face-to-face communication shows that you are both approachable and ensures that messages are not misinterpreted.
  7. Address issues immediately
    Don't let these issues bottle up until they result in an argument. Friendship is more fun than fighting. If you don't say anything, your roommate can assume that you're fine with them leaving their dirty underwear on your side of the room. Use those open lines of communication so you're both comfortable coming to each other with issues.
  8. Communicate issues constructively
    "You always borrow my shirts without asking me!" Accusatory statements like this only serve to escalate a conversation when addressing roommate issues. Using an "I" statement will help your roommate see how the issue affects you. For example, "I find it difficult to keep track of my possessions when they're being used without my knowing". The shirt thief will be able to empathize with you and understand how their actions impact others.
  9. Be considerate
    Intruder alert! If you're bringing someone back to your room, make sure your roommates are okay with it. If they are staying overnight, you'll need their consent when filling out a guest registration form.

For more information and resources about living with a roommate, check out our visit our Roommates page.

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Last Modified on August 17, 2018 2:41 PM, by [DR]