How to be a Great Roommate
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
To New Trinity Women
It’s critical that you make every effort to stay on campus for the first month in order to acclimate and adjust to your new “home away from home.” Trinity will be new across the board from adjusting to living with someone new and making new acquaintances to determining your schedule, how to study for college courses and what co-curricular activities to get involved in. Everything will be new and all change is necessary BUT difficult. Participation is key, and again; there is a great team of housing staff waiting to help you find her way. Jump in, stay engaged and give this new opportunity time in order to adjust and thrive. It gets better and you go along!
The best way to get off on the right foot and minimize conflicts is to be positive, keep an open mind and understand that great roommates DO NOT have to be great friends! When placing residents together, we are looking to pair students who can maintain civility and respect based on some basic lifestyle similarities. At move-in, we help our residents begin their living relationships with an open discussion on what makes each one comfortable using a Roommate Contract. Guests, music, sharing and cleanliness to name a few are topics to discuss and agree upon. Living on campus and sharing a room teaches one understanding, respect and appreciation for diversity. Although you do not have to be great friends, some of the best life-long friendships have come from being roommates. The only way to get there, however, is to be open, an active listener, appreciative and receptive to your roommates’ perspective and feelings to name a few. Two last huge success points which help are empathy and not needing to “win.” Instead of trying to win, try making your goal understanding and mutual change.
What if We Do Not Get Along?
Not every conflict results in an immediate change. We teach life skills; therefore it’s critical to help each resident understand that all working relationships require time, effective communication, respect and compromise.
- Communication between roommates occurs first, in an effort to rectify the problem. If, after that conversation, roommates cannot work their problems out, then they should:
- Speak with their Resident Coordinator/Area Director about mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, residents should speak with the Area Director about a room change. Room changes ARE NOT permitted until after September 5, 2012.
All Housing staff is trained to help in these situations. Resident Coordinators are professional staff persons who reside on each floor of each residence hall. There are also two additional live-in professionals on campus who are there to provide additional support. Below we have also provided some available on-line resources for your viewing.