Dear Barb – Roomie Reservations

Dear Barb:

Hi, I am in my last year of high school and have been applying to universities and colleges. Last week I received my first acceptance letter from at a topnotch university and will be living in residence at least for the first year. I know that AU is a distance university, but I heard about The Voice through some on campus students who are taking AUs courses to accelerate the road to their degree. My dilemma is that I am a little leery about having a roommate. I am an only child therefore always had my own room. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories about bad roommates and I’m hoping I can avoid this happening to me. Do you or your readers have any tips on how to get along with a roommate? I don’t want to start off with problems? Thanks Jay.

Hey Jay:

Congrats on being accepted at a first-class university, this is the first step on your life journey. It’s understandable that you would feel a little apprehensive about moving in with a total stranger. You could be meeting an awesome person who becomes a lifelong friend, or you could end up with someone you really can’t stand. The most important aspect of making this a successful union is communication. Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. Once you are both unpacked and somewhat settled in, ask your roommate to join you at Starbucks or Tim Horton’s for a coffee. Chat about what is important to you, share your schedules with each other and discuss whether you both prefer to study in the room or the library. If you choose to study in the room you will need to have some undisturbed, quiet time. Also, discuss whether you will be having friends in the room and perhaps set times when your room will be friend free and most importantly respect each other’s privacy. It might be a good idea to let your roommate know ahead of time if you will be bringing friends home, just so they are not caught in an uncomfortable situation. You will also need to discuss keeping the room neat and tidy, if that’s what you both want. Keep in mind that some people need more sleep than others, so be respectful of each other’s schedule. It’s also important that you respect each other’s property, which means do not eat each other’s food or borrow each other’s clothes, (this would be more apt to happen with female roommates). When, or if conflicts arise, discuss them right away. If you find confrontation uncomfortable, try texting your roommate with your concerns. This will start the conversation and then hopefully you will be able to discuss the situation face to face. There may also be Residence Programs Assistants on campus with whom you will be able to discuss issues. Good luck Jay!

Follow Barb on Twitter @BarbGod

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

%d bloggers like this: