You may face some roommate challenges during college – especially if you’ve never shared a room before. But overcoming those challenges may lead to lifelong friendship or, at the very least, lifelong skills in getting along.

Follow these tips for roommate success:

130822_Move_725Contact your roommate ahead of time
Get in touch with your roommate before move-in to learn about each other and discover what you have in common. Discuss who will bring what (TV, futon, refrigerator, etc.). Then, when you get to college, your roommate will be a support to you, not a stranger.

From the start, discuss how you both feel about cleanliness, visitors, music and TV volume, study time, sleep schedules, and borrowing clothes and other items.

Be realistic
You and your roommate will have different habits and expectations, so be prepared to compromise. Realize that you don’t have to be best friends to live together.

If you encounter a roommate conflict, try to work it out. Here’s how…

Look at yourself
Ask your roommate what he or she thinks of the relationship. Ask what you can do to improve things.

State the problem calmly, brainstorm alternatives, and choose a solution. Developing tactful, effective communication skills will pay off now and in the future.

Ask for help
If you and your roommate can’t resolve the conflict, ask your resident advisor to mediate.