Navigating Roomates


We are at the point in the semester that as a parent you should not be surprised if you get a phone call with your student on the other end saying “I can’t live with {insert roommate’s name} any longer!” Dust off the cobwebs from Dean Heida’s parent session during SOAR, and remember her words of advice: don’t take any action immediately. Often times, October becomes the pressure month for students and they are calling you because they need to relieve some of this pressure. This is the midterm point, the reality of classes is setting in, the realism of juggling class, work and activities is weighing on them, and the excitement of the new year has dulled.

Asking a few questions could help your student (and their roommate). Some questions can include:

  • How are classes going?
  • Have you spoken with your roommate about how you feel?
  • Has something specific happened with your roommate to make you feel this way?
  • When was the last time you and your roommate did something outside of the room together?

End the conversation by encouraging your student to think about what they can do to help with the roommate situation, and agree to talk about it again in a day or two. When you speak again with your student, and the situation has not improved, encourage them to seek out their RA, Head Resident, or Area Coordinator for help. Visit the Residence Life page to learn more about getting help with roommates. If the situation is rooted in academic struggles, encourage your student to go to the Academic Success Center to develop strategies to navigate the rest of the semester.