Humboldt State University

Residents playing their guitars in a common area

Housing & Residence Life

Current Residents

Handbook - Getting Along with Your Roommate

Getting Along with Your Roommate

Roommates can be a lot of fun. Discovering new perspectives, sharing opinions and having someone to bounce ideas and experiences off of can be a great experience. Maintaining any successful relationship, however, also requires that we all adjust to one another's differences and, on occasion, learn to compromise a little. With a little tolerance and patience, your roommate relationship can turn into a lifelong friendship. On the other hand, failure to establish and maintain a reasonable level of civility with your roommate or suitemates, as determined by Residence Life Staff, can result in an administrative room move or a possible removal from the residence halls.

Here are some hints for making the most of your roommate experience:

Set Ground Rules

Chores-who does what and when? Who can borrow what, when, and for how long? When is study time? When can be an agreed lights out time? How early is too early? Are overnight guests ok? Make agreements and keep your word.


Discuss pet peeves, personal habits, musical tastes, needs and other expectations. Your CA can be an asset if difficulties arise between you and your roommate. They can help facilitate communication and attempt to help you resolve issues that you and your roommate alone are not able to resolve. Using your CA as a mediator early on can help keep small problems from becoming overwhelming barriers. Another resource available to you is your Residence Life Coordinator.  You can contact 707-826-3451 to get in touch with the Residence Life Coordinator of your area.

General Guidelines:

  • Do be accepting and understanding of lifestyles different from your own.
  • Do talk about your feelings (a roommate cannot respond to unexpressed feelings).
  • Do keep accurate records of any shared bills.
  • Do return or replace something you've borrowed or broken.
  • Do make an effort to keep your living space clean and comfortable. The more livable your space is, the happier you will be.
  • Do discuss any problems instead of thinking they will go away on their own.
  • Do communicate in person instead of leaving notes.
  • Do resolve issues instead of pretending everything is fine.

Should your room situation not work with your roommate, room changes are possible depending both on your specific circumstance and the current room space availability. Please see the "Room Change Requests" section in Community Living for further information.