Tips with Trish: Ruminating about possible roommate

Dear Trish,

Last year was definitely a year of transition for me as a first-year student at Loras.  Most of my friends were from my floor or MOI. I was so happy to connect with them early on, and know they helped my adjustment to college life. Recently though, I’ve been drifting from some of these people. It’s not like we hate each other or anything — we just seem to be hanging out with different friends. We’ve talked for months about living together next year, but now I’m not sure I want to. How do I know if I should stick with these friends or venture out and live with someone else next year? Housing sign-up is getting close.

Signed, Another Transition


Trish says,

I will address your question in two parts. First: the benefit of having different groups of friends, and second: how to choose a suitable roommate.

Hopefully, you will make a lot of friends in college. Just because you met some great people your first year, doesn’t mean you’re done making friends. I met some of my best friends in college during my junior year. The fact that you and your friends feel comfortable branching out says a lot about your relationships. Sometimes friends get jealous or possessive, so count yourself lucky that you aren’t involved in that kind of stress or drama.

Having a variety of friends is good for lots of reasons. The best reason is that surrounding yourself with all kinds of people brings a broader perspective to your world view. Having a diverse group of friends brings out different sides of your own personality as well. Maybe associating with new people will help you learn more about yourself. If all of your friends are on the cross country track team, you will always have that bond based on your love of running, but you might benefit from spending some free time with a different group. If some of your friends aren’t into the partying/drinking scene and are uncomfortable with going out on weekends, that doesn’t mean you can’t socialize. It just means you need to find some friends to go out with and hang with other friends on a night when you stay in. Hopefully your friends won’t judge you, and you shouldn’t judge them.

Regarding finding the best roommate, it’s important to take a few things into consideration.  Respectfulness and trustworthiness should be at the top of your list. There will definitely be times when you and your roommate will disagree about things, but if you pick a roommate that is respectful, honest and trustworthy, then conflicts or disagreements will be easily resolved. A good communicator is also something to look for. Too often conflicts build up if someone is too passive or too aggressive to talk about problems when they arise. Feeling comfortable to air thoughts and/or grievances is especially important when sharing a space with someone.

Another thing to look for is whether you are physically compatible. Some students need their room neat and organized, and some want their surroundings quiet. Think about what works best for you. You may have a friend you adore who is an extreme extrovert and wants your shared space to be welcome to all. If you are an introvert or like to study in your room, this friend might not be the best roommate for you, and that’s okay. You can still be friends. Don’t try to force something — it may save the relationship if you don’t live with certain people.
Hope this helps!


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Tricia Borelli is the Director of Counseling Services at Loras College. In Tips with Trish, she will answer student questions concerning anything that relates to keeping it together while doing this crazy thing called college. Send questions or comments to Ms. Borelli, Loras Box 100, or to the e-mail address All names of those sending questions will be kept confidential.

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