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Clicking With a New Roommate

Your student doesn’t have to become “besties” with his new roommate, but if they don’t get along, things can quickly become miserable. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to create a cordial, conflict-free relationship with just about anybody. And sometimes, the results are truly magical.

Two St. Norbert students share their stories about adjusting to a new roommate.

Jenny Summers ’16

Before my freshman year began, I was incredibly nervous that my “random roommate” and I wouldn’t work out. When I got to school in late August, my new roommate, Maggie, had already set up our lofts and started unpacking. I was nervous she would try and take over the whole room. But we talked the first night and agreed on how to set up our room.

Next, I quickly learned Maggie stays up late to do homework, while I tend to go to bed early. That first week I thought for sure she’d be keeping me up all year. But we figured out a solution. She was able to stay up late and study using her desk lamp and the Christmas lights we’d strung throughout the room, which were also dim enough that I could fall asleep. 

Another compromise Maggie and I made was how we cleaned the room. We decided at the beginning of the year that I would vacuum once a week and she would take out the garbage when it was full. By talking about the cleaning jobs right away, neither of us ended up feeling like we were doing all of the work. We were sharing a job, which dispelled any potential resentment or animosity. We also tried to work together when it came to decorating the room. Before adding extra decorations, for example, we’d run our ideas by each other first. Even if I hated something Maggie liked, or vice versa, by discussing it beforehand and not just putting something up and assuming it was OK, we actually each became open to more things.

The most important part of living with a random roommate is communication. Talking issues over instead of keeping silent keeps everyone from feeling hurt, and opens the door for roommates to become great friends – just like Maggie and I did.  

Akeem Edmonds ’15
I don’t think I could have asked for a better roommate for my freshman year of college than Alex. Neither of us knew people from high school coming to St. Norbert, so it was a fresh start for us both.

When Alex and I became roommates, we planned ahead of time who would bring what to our new living space so that we both contributed. For example, Alex brought the television and I brought the mini fridge. Luckily, the fact that both of us were on the track and field team automatically put Alex and me on the same sleep schedule because we planned our classes and extracurriculars around practices and track meets. 

Alex and I became good enough friends to feel comfortable holding each other accountable when it came to cleaning and making sure our room looked presentable. (It also helped we both worked as tour guides for the office of admissions, so we needed our room to be tidy enough for tours to stop by!)

Alex and I both became super-involved on campus, and in the same things. Every organization that we tried, we did together, which made transitioning a lot easier. St. Norbert gave me an awesome roommate to live with, and Alex has become my brother and best friend for life.

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