Penn State Harrisburg

Roommate Hints

Several clues helpful in preventing roommate problems from developing revolve around effective communication and are listed below:

  1. Communicate about yourself from the start (background, personal preferences, habits, characteristics)

  2. Communicate about the sharing of food items/snacks, personal property, and ousehold costs

  3. Communicate about household responsibilities

  4. Communicate about guests

  5. Communicate about study time/quiet hours

  6. Communicate about the sharing of information within the house

  7. Communicate about personal and guests' use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in the house

  8. Communicate about an acceptable comfort level in the house

  9. When tensions develop, try to understand where they came from and what you can do to alleviate them.

  10. Do your share to keep the household in order

  11. Be sensitive to feelings and willing to provide constructive suggestions

 

Sharing Food Costs

  1. All roommates should meet to decide if they will prepare meals and shop individually or as a group. (Persons who decide to buy singly rather than in a group should be aware that this is a source of future tension. Conflict regarding use of another's milk, cereal, bread, etc. could arise.)

  2. Roommates should discuss food preferences — who like what foods. (toiletries should be purchased individually)

  3. Roommates should discuss class/personal schedule — how often does each person plan to be in the residence? Who has night classes? Who has class during lunch? Who doesn't eat breakfast? Who will be eating in the Food Court? Who will be going home most weekends?

  4. Roommates should decide how they will share the cost of food and who will do the shopping.

 

Housekeeping Hints

Since different individuals have different standards of cleanliness, discussing housekeeping early in the semester will reduce the chance of conflict in this area later on.

  1. Develop a revolving schedule on a weekly basis for cleaning the public areas of the apartment — bedrooms are the responsibility of each individual.

  2. Certain things must be done daily to show consideration for others in the apartment. Among these are:

    • Clean up after yourself in the bathroom. Rinse the sink and tub free of debris and hair

    • If you have a snack — do your own dishes — unless of course it's your turn to do them after dinner.

    • Drop your clothes, shoes and books in your room — your roommates and their friends don't want to plow through your junk to find a place to sit or to work.

  3. A good rule of thumb, whoever cooks should not have to do the dishes — unless cooking for friends. Roommates should split the labor on this chore.