Is it time to break up with your roommate? Are they getting on your nerves? Not cleaning the dishes? Not making their bed?

You are not alone. Welcome to the roommate switch process. 

The roommate switch process is kind of an unknown process that not many students know about. Just because you start the year with a roommate, does not necessarily mean that you need to finish the year with them. 

McShain Hall

Living with a stranger can be difficult and sometimes it doesn’t always work out. Ian explains that communication is very important during this process. You cannot always just blame the issues on your roommate, but also need to look at both sides of the situation. This is how an RA becomes useful. They become a clear, unbiased person to speak through your issues with and hopefully resolve them.

A Saint Joseph’s University RA, Ian Rowe-Nicholls, talks about the “I” statement. The “I” statement is a form of communication to speak to your roommate and a good way to approach them. You need to confront them with statements like, “I feel like you are doing this,” or “When you do this, you make me feel this.” This helps you express how you are feeling and gives your roommate a better understanding of what they are doing that bothers you and how it affects you. This tends to not be as successful as the “I” statement because it makes it seem like you are fully unloading all of your issues onto them and not recognizing that you may as well be part of the issue. 

Do not worry! There is a way for you to switch roommates if things aren’t working out and the conversations are going nowhere.

You have to fill out a form if you want to switch roommates, being there is no other solution. This is only available if there are enough rooms, but you are not just limited to your residence hall. There have been instances where sophmores have moved back into Villiger Hall because that was the only available opening for the semester. Switching roommates with someone is also an option. Ian adds that there aren’t a lot of vacancies so it is not an easy process. 

He goes on to say that the purpose of the remaining agreements are to get residents to converse in a controlled environment. It allows the resident to have an idea of what life is going to be like in the room, as well as the RA. It allows easier discussion of issues openly in the future.

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