The time for living
off campus comes at different times for everyone. When that time comes, the
apartment and roommate search has begun.
When looking for roommates there are several things you might want to consider. One important point to remember is that as a Baylor student co-habitation, even off campus, is not permitted. To help you decide who is compatible for you, consider how you feel about friends and lifestyle preference, finances, religious beliefs, as well as the type of housing you want. It helps to know how you feel about these things so you can voice your opinion when searching for a roommate or when you have already found one.
When your search begins, you will probably begin talking to people you already know. This has some advantages and disadvantages. Living with someone you already know probably makes for less tension at the beginning because you are aware of what you have in common, what the other person likes or dislikes, and their lifestyle. You are probably already familiar with some of their idiosyncrasies and there are fewer surprises along the way. Even though you might feel you "really know" this person, living with them could be a totally different thing. Consider the fact that you might have the potential to be better friends than you are roommates. You will probably be less likely to tell an acquaintance if something is bothering you for fear of hurting his or her feelings. That can be fatal to any relationship.
Sometimes you are not able to find a person you are already acquainted with and you choose someone you do not know, either from the roommate find service provided by the Student Life Office or through a mutual friend.
When choosing a roommate you do not know, it is a good idea to talk to the individual on the phone first. It if seems to be worth pursuing, then set up a time to meet and discuss some important matters to check your compatibility. It is probably not a good idea to start off with in-depth questions. You might scare them away if you do that! Ask basic questions that allow a lot of information to be given, such as:
If you still see this individual as a potential roommate, you can move on to more serious questions, such as:
to be kind and honest. Treat others as you would want to be treated. The individuals
you interview are probably just as skeptical or nervous as you are.
Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful in making a final decision.
If you interview
more people than you need to live with, be sure to tell the others "yes"
or "no" as soon as you decide. They are in the same situation you
are in, so it is not fair for them to have to wait. Informing them of your decision
as soon as possible is just common courtesy.
Once you have decided on a roommate it is not a bad idea to have each person sign a roommate agreement. In doing this, the entire household gets together and signs an agreement on decisions made about certain things. In order to eliminate as many unforeseen problems as possible, seriously consider the idea of compiling the decisions you make together into a written roommate agreement. Here are some suggestions for discussion.
All these topics
cover several important issues that will arise when living together, and it
is important that everyone be in on the final decision. It also allows the controversial
issues to come up before a contract is signed.
Living with one or more persons is not always smooth sailing. Even with careful discussion and prior agreement, misunderstandings will occur. However, there are a few things one can practice to make for the most comfortable living SITUATION. One key to successful roommate living is making sure the lines of communication are kept open. If you have likes, dislikes, or certain preferences, be sure to tell the other people involved. Share ideas and feelings openly. Do not put off stressful discussions. Sit down and talk them out calmly and most of all, honestly.
Second, make a commitment to your roommates to work together in order to have the best living situation possible. Realize that negotiation and compromise are essential factors when living with someone. Share decisions and be sure you give compliments as freely as criticism.
Third, be considerate toward your roommates and their guests and friends. If one of you is undergoing a particularly stressful time, share the situation so extra-sensitive precautions can take place. Respect each other's property, feelings, and emotions; and they will likely do the same for you.
If you need a mediator, do not hesitate to get one. Sometimes not all things can be worked out alone. If you do need help with mediation, call the Office of Judicial Affairs at 254-710-1715. For more help or personal advice, counseling is available at the Counseling Center at 254-710-2467.