How to Start Off on the Right Foot with a Roommate


Since most schools pair students with roommates at random, whether you get along is often down to luck. However, there are things you can do to ensure you have a good relationship with your roommate, starting even before you meet.

1. Reach Out Before You Move In Together

Your student housing should be able to provide you with your roommate’s contact information. Send your roommate an email and ask if you can connect on social media to learn more about each other. Try to send the occasional message to check in with your roommate — you could talk about how your summers are going, voice any concerns about starting college, or coordinate what each of you is bringing to the apartment.

2. Have a Proper Conversation

In addition to messaging back and forth, make sure you have at least one real conversation with your roommate. This could be over video chat or even in person if you live close enough to meet up. Having a proper chat will help you feel like you actually know each other and make the transition of living together much less awkward.

3. Set Your Ground Rules

Establishing rules for your apartment may be an uncomfortable topic, but it’s important to do this as soon as you move in — if not before. You need to make sure you’re both on the same page about things like having guests over, chores, quiet times for studying, and sharing things like cleaning supplies, food, and any appliances one of you brought from home.

4. Attend Campus Events Together

Once you’re living together, get to know each other by finding activities to go to. In particular, you should find out what events are taking place on campus and attend together. Even though your roommate may still feel like a stranger, meeting new people will be much more comfortable when you already know at least one person.

5. Resolve Any Conflict Straight Away

You’re likely to face some issues with your roommate at some point — after all, you’re sharing a living space with someone who may come from a completely different background. Whereas setting expectations from the start should help you avoid any serious conflict, unexpected problems may still crop up. It’s important to address these in a calm and respectful way as soon as possible to prevent small disagreements from getting out of hand.

6. Expand Your Social Circle

No matter if you and your roommate end up becoming close friends or you just remain acquaintances, it’s important to have plenty of other friends. Don’t expect your roommate to want to do everything with you — go out on your own, try extracurriculars that match your interests, and take advantage of all the opportunities you have to meet new people.

If you live on campus, your school will likely pair you with a random roommate. However, we do things differently at Parkway Lofts: to make sure you have a great experience, we’ll match you with a roommate who has a similar lifestyle to you. All the students who live at our Brock University off-campus housing have their own room and most units also have en suite bathrooms. If you prefer, you can even lease a studio apartment to avoid dealing with roommates altogether. Apply now for the type of apartment you want and secure the lowest rates of the year.

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