Do You Really Need a Roommate Contract?

So it’s your first year at college. For those of you who will be living on-campus, your housing advisors have probably already introduced this piece of paper called the roommate contract. A roommate contract usually gets a mixed response from first-year students; therefore, is it necessary?

YES: To start off, 9/10 of the time you will not know who your roommate is prior to starting your first year. This means that it is important to set clear boundaries and expectations for and from each other. A roommate contract is helpful in doing just that. From learning about each other’s sleep schedules to how both parties live their life as a whole, a roommate contract is helpful for maintaining peace and order among everyone.

YES: A roommate contract also includes guidelines on how to approach tricky situations and conflicts that might arise. For example, I remember when my roommate and I had to discuss our comfortability level with having guests in the room and how to navigate those situations. Having a roommate contract is helpful for understanding what to do in situations when one does not abide by the expectations that are set by both parties.

Whether you decide to utilize a roommate contract or not, it is up to you. Ultimately, a roommate contract is helpful for setting expectations and serving as guidelines on how to navigate conflicts. We hope that you have a good experience with your roommate!