Roommates rock
Justin Whisler, Joe Quetsh-Bales, Charles Bickett and Lance Carlson of the band Tempest Rose won the ISU Homecoming Battle of the Bands. All four members of the band have been friends for years, and hope the band has a bright future. Photo: Chris Potratz/Iowa State daily

Starting new class and work schedules along with moving to a new place can be stressful enough for students, let alone having to deal with your new roommates and neighbors. But navigating through these social encounters doesn’t always have to be awkward and uncomfortable. Achieving a healthy relationship and transitioning into a new environment can run smoother with these tips.

Start with an open mind

You may come into a new situation with prejudgments and past experiences in mind, but try not to let that determine how this new situation will unfold.


If there is something that you need to discuss, whether positive or negative, sit down and have the conversation. It is much easier in the long run, and the problem will be solved in a much shorter time frame.

Get to know them

It’s hard to make a friend if you don’t act like a friend. Introduce yourself, invite them along to hang outside of your place and get the chance to know them. You don’t have to be best friends, but becoming acquaintances may easy any awkward tension.

Do the little things

Sometimes it’s hard to be the one to haul the garbage all the way out to the dumpster. But step up and be the kind and considerate human being your mom would be proud of by completing simple household chores.

Keep the area clean

Sometimes you don’t have time to wash your dishes or take your garbage out right away. But, no one likes the person whose room emits strange smells or who has piles of dirty clothes around the room. Keep it clean; don’t be that person.

Give them space

While you want to be friendly, knowing when to keep to yourself is important in keeping a positive relationship. Everyone needs a little quiet time, so don’t be offended if your roommate or neighbor just needs time alone.

Stick with it

You may find that you just don’t get along with some people, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up and move. Interacting with different people is a natural part of life, so you may find that sticking it out and dealing with the situation is best in the long run.

(1) comment

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.