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Should I Keep My College Roommate?

It Takes More Than One Good Year Together to Make A Great Roommate Relationship


Students relaxing in dorm room
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If you're like most students, you made it through your first (or second or third or ...) year of college with the same roommate you started with. Things seemed to go well enough, but as the year ends, one awkward question can hang in the room: Should you live together again?

There are some things to consider, and obviously it takes both of you being on the same page to reach the mutual decision to stay roommies.

Most importantly: Were you good roommates to each other already? No one's a perfect roommate, but there are definite differences between good roommates and bad roommates. Was your roommate respectful of you, of your time, of your stuff, or your choices? And were you respectful of your roommate's? Having a respectful, solid relationship base to work on for next year is a key part of deciding whether or not living together again is a good idea.

What are the financial considerations? Do you absolutely need a roommate again, financially speaking? Does your roommate? Could you afford a room by yourself? Is that something you're interested in? While you may love the idea of living with your roommate again -- or not -- the financial considerations should definitely play a role in the decision. Even if you want to live together again, where you decide to do so will effect how much it costs for you to stay on as each other's roommates.

How will next year be different? Is your roommate going to be studying abroad for one semester? Will you be joining a sorority? Will your roommate be on the basketball team? Will either of you be working more or have a romantic partner closer than you did this year? Do you both want to move off campus? On campus? Into a Greek house? Just because things worked out well this year doesn't mean things will work out again next year. Think about how things will change -- and how those factors might affect your roommate relationship.

How will next year be the same? The similarities between this year and next year are important to consider, too. If things will be the same in many ways, that can be a good indicator that continuing to live together is a good option.

What are your alternatives? Alright, so your roommate isn't your top choice, but he or she is one of your top choices. Is your top choice available? Were you thinking of living somewhere your roommate isn't interested in? Are there other people you might consider living with? If you don't choose to live with your current roommate again, will you be matched with another random person? And if so, do you view that as a good thing or a bad thing? White it's important to look objectively at the pros and cons of your current roommate situation, it's also important to put your roommate choice into context. If you can't imagine any other alternative, sticking with a roommate who has stuck with you can be a smart decision.

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