Maximizing the roommate experience

Students share tips for getting along


Elizabeth Price

A double room in snyamncut.

By Keri Kelly, Web Editor

During the winter quarter many students are changing dorms, rooms and most notably, roommates. Some people are seeking a change in dorm life while living at EWU. Here are some ways that one can maximize their experience with a new roommate presented by students across campus:

  1.                   Get to know your roommate.

Aidan Nett, a junior, said he and his roommate didn’t speak for the first six months of the school year..

 “It did not work well,” said Nett. “Once we got to know each other, the relationship got better.” 

Getting to know each other will make both students comfortable in the room when they are together. It also promotes healthy conversation between the two parties, resulting in improved relationships, Nett said.

  1.                   Communication is key.

Often when situations in dorms occur, students are faced with the challenge of confronting their roommates. If the problem is not fixed between the parties, it results in unsatisfied residents and tense relations. It is highly suggested by most students that one should confront their roommate if there is a problem. 

“If you don’t bring something up to somebody, then they won’t know and they’ll keep doing it,” said Elizabeth Karras, a sophomore and resident in Pearce Hall. 

Many students invented fun ways to contact their roommates when asking them to do little things, such as taking out the garbage. Emonni Clemmons, a sophomore, said that she left notes for her roommate. 

“I put hearts around it to make sure it wasn’t threatening,” said Clemmons.

“If you don’t bring something up to somebody, then they won’t know and they’ll keep doing it,” -Elizabeth Karras, Sophomore

  1.                   Be vulnerable.

People don’t normally talk about what will happen if their roommate is having company over for the night, or if their roommate walks in on them changing. Matt Watkins said to understand that you’re going to be very vulnerable with them. You have to get comfortable talking about things that are awkward.” 

Living together entails being together consistently every day. There will be conversations that are uncomfortable for both parties, and that is normal in a dorm setting, Watkins said.

  1.                   Set Boundaries.

Many students split their rooms down the middle, with one side for their roommate and the other for themselves. However, the expectation when it comes to sharing items varies widely. Lincoln Hakala, a freshman, said that he and his roommate do not share their things, but Clemmons said she and her roommate shared almost everything. Different people have different expectations, so it is best for roommates to talk to each other to figure out what works best for them. Cassie Ahrendt, a freshman, put it simply: “Set ground rules first-thing.”

Keri Kelly
  1.                   Have fun.

According to Makayla Mathews, a freshman, having fun together is what makes having a roommate enjoyable. If roommates don’t have fun together, they may not enjoy sharing a room. 

“Make sure you always include them,” said Mathews. 

It also helps if roommates have something in common with each other. Jacklyn Gazewood, a resident in snyamncut, said that “we bond over our love for popcorn and coffee”. She said when roommates hangout, it can make it easier to see them as a person and make the time spent together worth while.