Skip to main content

The Student Living Roommate Guide

Welcome to the Student Living Roommate Guide. You’re probably here because of concerns you have with living with roommates while attending school. Don’t worry, we’ve got some ideas to make your apartment experience awesome despite the challenges that come with living with others.
Building Relationships
Happy Home
Resolving Conflict
Additional Resources

Building Relationships

Whether you are a freshman in college or a seasoned upperclassman, developing and maintaining roommate relationships can be a challenge. Everyone has their own expectations of roommates, and it is not uncommon to feel a mix of emotions as you try to build positive connections in your apartment. We encourage you to befriend your roommates. Here are three steps to help you.

Step 1 Practice Principles of Friendship

Watch this video and consider the following: What actions do you see that build and strengthen relationships between the roommates? What can you do today in your apartment that would build a friendship?

Step 2: Invite, Invite, Invite

Being encouraging and friendly is an easy way to be a great roommate and friend. Sometimes a simple invitation sparks lasting friendships. In this video, watch what power an invitation holds.

STEP 3: Make Roommates a Priority

You are attending BYU-Idaho to get a degree, but your roommates play a significant role in your life at college. Though you're busy, make sure to make time to be together. A few things you might do include:
  1. Roommate dinner once a week
  2. Game Night
  3. Attend activities on campus
  4. Go to church together
  5. Pray and study Come Follow Me together. Being together is a simple way to strengthen roommate relationships
    Roommates laughing together inside their apartment.

    Secrets to a Happy Home

    Don’t we all want to move in and feel like we’re home? This feeling of belonging doesn’t happen overnight - don’t stress, you can do it! Remember, you cannot control how others feel, act, or think, but you can still be a positive influence by focusing on your own efforts. Here are some key things you should do and key things you should not do to make your apartment feel like home for everyone.

    Two homes next to each other

    - Practice kindness, patience, and humility.
    - When others make a mistake, be quick to forgive.
    - Be your best.
    - When you are wrong, acknowledge it. Do your part to make things right.
    - Take responsibility for your actions.
    - Treat everyone the way you want to be treated.
    - Be a bully, both aggressive or passive-aggressive.
    - Lie or deceive others for personal gain.
    - Be fake.
    - Make excuses or dismiss the concerns of your roommates.
    - Be hypocritical.

    What does this look like?

    There are lots of ways to apply these two lists of Dos and Don’ts. No matter the difficulty of the situation, these principles apply every time. Watch the following videos for more ideas on how to make your apartment feel like home.

    Resolving Conflicts

    It can be really tough living with others and you may have differences, but these challenges can strengthen your relationship if handled correctly. Here are a few tips to get a problem resolved:
    Get all the facts icon
    Get all the Facts
    Don't overreact and be careful to not jump to conclusions.
    Listen to understand icon
    Listen to Understand
    Focus 100% on the other person as they speak. Don't think about what you want to say next.
    Address issues early icon
    Address Issues Early
    Don’t put it off, or “just deal with it” to avoid festering negative feelings.
    Be clear icon
    Be Clear
    Avoid “dancing around the issue.” Clearly describe your perspective and express your feelings.
    Be Kind, Respectful, and Resourceful icon
    Be Kind, Respectful, and Resourceful
    Genuinely express feelings of care and friendship to your roommate. If you don’t feel positively about them you can still express kindness and respect.

    If you're not being received like you hoped you would, that’s OK! Although it is hard, the best thing you can do is keep showing genuine love and friendship to your roommate.

    Let's Practice

    Watch the following videos and try to put yourself in the shoes of each character.
    • How would you want to be treated as each character in the videos?
    • What can you do today to increase positive feelings towards your roommates?
    • Make a plan today to improve your relationship with your roommates?

    Additional Resources

    Student Living Meetings are a perfect opportunity for managers to teach important principles that build and strengthen roommate relationships and sets a general tone for the property.
    The Student Living Guidebook provides a clear and thorough description of the purpose, principles, and desired outcomes of Student Living, defines the structure and recommended implementation of the Student Living model, and offers educational and resource materials for teaching and reinforcing the primary principles associated with gospel-centered apartment life.
    Student Living Meetings are a perfect opportunity for managers to teach important principles that build and strengthen roommate relationships and sets a general tone for the property.
    Under this tab you will find other resources like the Student Living Talks, Apartment Council, and Gallery.
    Some of these videos represent common scenarios in the apartment, while others teach important principles to have at home.