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Roommate Tips

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HRL believes strongly in the value of the campus residential experience. This experience provides you with exciting opportunities to meet new people and to be exposed to different difference cultures and lifestyles. This can start with your roommate.

One of the key ingredients to a successful living experience is a solid relationship between roommates and a healthy roommate relationship takes time to develop. An important place to start is by getting to know each other. Make time to find out about your roommate’s background, habits, interests, and pet peeves. Talk about the differences between you, how they may affect your living environment, and what compromises you both may have to maintain harmony. Discuss what you hope for in a roommate relationship.

As communicated, Duke University transitioned to a random roommate assignment process for our first-year students which began with the Class of 2022. This change complements the already existing practice of random assignment to a house on East. 

Talking Points

  • Schedules: study time versus sleep time, noise hours vs quiet hours
  • Guests: acceptable hours, overnight, significant others
  • Room Condition: temperature, cleanliness, bunking or lofting beds (as appropriate)
  • Sharing: personal belongings, shared expenses (CATV, telephone), etc.

Things to Remember

  • Many students have never had to share a bedroom before. Be prepared to compromise.
  • If a strong friendship develops between roommates, that’s great, but don’t necessarily expect to be best friends. The important thing is to accept, appreciate, and grow from the experience of living with someone who may be very different from you.
  • Remember that each of you has rights. Treat your roommate(s) as you would like to be treated.
  • Don’t rely on first impressions. Make the time to know each other.

Think about how you would complete these statements:

  • I’m a good roommate because:
  • I would like to find a roommate who:

Social Media

We encourage students to be thoughtful in what they put in their profile, remember, you are marketing yourself, so your profile should be representative of who you really are, not who you wish you were. Don’t rely solely on a Facebook profile or Instagram to decide if you can live with your roommate, and remember to update your profile so you feel it is an accurate representation of yourself. On the flip side, take everything you see on social media with a grain of salt. Before ruling someone out based on their profile, try having a conversation with them, or see if you have mutual friends who can fill you in on what they are really like.

Roommate Agreement

During your first weeks of school, your Resident Assistant will be asking you to formally address some of the issues you have discussed by completing a Roommate Living Agreement. This document assists you in understanding and communicating needs and expectations related to study time, sleep time, cleanliness, guests, shared use of personal belongings, etc. See a copy of the Roommate Agreement.