New and Revitalized Roommate Relationships
January is a great time to think about a student's roommate relationship, if they had a roommate for fall semester. Most relationships are successful because students have reasonable expectations and open communication. However, some need help to be successful. Every once in a while, roommates decide it would be best to change their pairings. Whether a student has the same roommate or a new roommate for Spring, below are good steps that will support positive roommate relations.
Reflect on Fall Semester
Roommates should ask each other and themselves questions to prepare for the new semester. How did things go between us? Do we have the relationship we both want to have? Were there incidents or situations we need to talk about? How did we do academically? Talking on the phone during the break, or connecting as soon as they return is a great way to reflect on fall semester and address any issues.
If your student did not have a roommate, how will they need to adjust to sharing their space this spring? What habits were fine in their own room, but may not be when another person also lives there?
Plan for Spring Semester
Having a sense of each other's semester is also helpful. Are changing their study habits? Planning to join a student organization, including a sorority or fraternity? Getting a job on campus or in Oxford? Have personal relationships changed in any way that may affect the roommate relationship? When roommates share goals for the semester, they can help each other achieve those goals.
Revisit the Roommate Agreement
When students complete the Roommate Agreement in fall, we remind them it is subject to change. After a semester of living together, now is a good time to review and revise expectations. Roommates can revisit the Roommate Agreement by visiting their Housing account, where they can see their original responses and make changes. They should also explore the online roommate success guide.
Winter Break is a great opportunity to celebrate successes and make changes to promote future success. This not only pertains to academics and involvement, but also to roommate relationships.