Excited but nervous about meeting your new roommate? That’s OK! In fact, it’s completely normal. If you’re thinking about how to be a great roommate, you’ve already taken the first step to becoming one. College roommates can sometimes become friends for life, and we’re so excited for you to meet yours. Here are a few tips to help you navigate roommate life.

#1 Encourage Open Communication

It’s move-in day – you finally get to meet your new roommate! First, spend a little time breaking the ice, then consider creating an initial roommate contract. Depending on your personalities, this can take the form of a written list or just an honest conversation.

Tell each other your likes and dislikes, what you’re OK with and what bothers you. Be honest and open to compromise. Creating this initial contract will help you avoid future frustrations and allow you both to feel comfortable in your new space.


#2 Be Clean

As a general rule of courtesy, never leave your side of the room messier than your roommate’s.

Also, recognize the difference between messy and dirty. Messy is leaving books and clean laundry scattered across your bed. Depending on your roommate, that might be fine.

Dirty is leaving a crusty bowl of last week’s midnight chili craving on your dresser. Now that’s just wrong! Don’t let half-opened food and damp gym socks become permanent fixtures of your room décor. Make your space an inviting one. On top of that, a clean room can boost your ability to focus and help you in school! Who knew doing your laundry could get you that A in biology. 

#3 Spend Quality Time Together

You don’t have to force a friendship, but it always feels good to live with someone who knows the real you. Compare your schedules and find times to hang out. Get some fresh air with a walk through Hess Creek Canyon, plan a day trip to downtown Portland or grab some breakfast together at Canyon Commons before class. The time you invest in your roommate will be well worth it!


#4 Check In Regularly

Before life gets busy, see if your roommate would like to schedule monthly check-ins. You can use these check-ins to make sure you’re still on the same page regarding room cleanliness, study hours and anything else that might need attention. If nothing needs attention, use the time to do something fun together!


Photo of George Fox

George Fox


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