Five Tips for living with a roommate

With housing assignments recently released, we asked some current students for advice about living happily with a roommate during your first semester.

A series of potted plants with a Beloit pennant.

Talk About Expectations

If you have specific expectations about your room, communicate those as soon as you can. If you like it quiet after 10 p.m., or you don’t like having a lot of guests over, your roommate should know. Think about what’s most important to you and be ready to learn what’s important to them.

Be Willing to Compromise

Being a good roommate is about meeting in the middle. For example, if your roommate wants to go to bed earlier than you, offer to spend some time in the lounge. If you’re reasonable with their requests, they’re more likely to accommodate your requests as well.

Do Things Together…

When you first arrive on campus, your roommate might be the person you’re closest to on campus. If you want to check out the farmers market or go to a club meeting, see if your roommate wants to come. Having a friend at new events makes things much less intimidating.

…And Spend Time Apart

While it’s a good idea to do things together, it’s also good to have some space for yourself. Even if you just go get coffee at the Powerhouse and study for a few hours, it’s nice to give your roommate a little space and develop your independence on campus.

Be Honest (But Kind)

If something about your roommate situation isn’t working for you, be honest with them. If you talk about it, it’s a lot easier to figure things out than if you just think about it. Come to your roommate with an open mind, but don’t lie if you feel upset about something. You should both always feel comfortable in your room.

Bonus: Connect This Summer

Talk to your roommate to find out what they’re bringing for your room. If they already have a fridge, then you can bring a microwave. Remember — you don’t need two of everything. Plus you can coordinate room decoration, and start a conversation about living styles.

Questions about your new home? Learn more about residence life at

June 17, 2021

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