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Five tips for surviving a roommate

1.Courtsey: Treat others like you want to be treated.

2.Compromise: You’re both paying for the room, so be flexible in sharing the space.

3.Communicate: Talk to your roommate if there’s a problem before it gets out of hand.

4.Set rules: Discuss what items should be shared and the terms for borrowing.

5.Stay silent: Don’t talk to your roommate’s parents or friends about them. Stay out of it.


Massachusetts high school senior Alie Dolan has decided to become a Buff.

After months of awaiting acceptance letters and weighing options, Dolan chose the University of Colorado as her new home, come August.

But this summer, Dolan has replaced the anticipation of acceptance with the anxiety of receiving her roommate and housing assignment.

“It’s exactly like getting your college acceptance,” Dolan said. “You don’t really know what is going to happen until you get that letter.”

About 80 percent of incoming freshmen let CU’s Housing department choose their roommate during their first year of college, said Ken Kucera, assistant director of occupancy management for the residence halls.

And as CU continues to disperse housing assignments through mid-June, many new Buffs are left anxiously awaiting information on their new dorm mate.

Like Dolan, many incoming freshman take their chances with housing assignments because they don’t know a lot of students , Kucera said.

“There’s only one other girl in my school going to CU,” Dolan said. “I don’t really know her very well, so it wouldn’t really be any different then getting a roommate assignment.”

Dolan said she’s anxious to get her assignment and get in touch with her new roommate. She is hoping an early start on the relationship will ease the transition.

“My sister met her roommate before they moved in and that made it better for them,” Dolan said. “I think finding out what you have in common first will help.”

CU attaches a short survey to students’ housing applications to help pair roommates. Students answer questions about lifestyles, smoking, sleeping habits, noise, cleanliness and studying routines.

“We find that matching students makes for a more comfortable living environment,” Kucera said. “They tend to be more comfortable with university living in general when they’re happier with their roommates.”

But the compatibility methods don’t always make for happy roomies.

CU senior Brittany Michael said even though her freshman roommate’s survey answers matched well with hers, their personalities clashed, making her freshmen year a long one in the dorms.

“I literally kissed the ground of my new apartment when I finally got away from the dorms and that roommate,” Michael said. “Two people could not have had less in common.”

Michaels said she approached her resident advisor about her roommate conflicts, but nothing was resolved.

CU alumni George McCabe was hoping for a room with either two or three roommates when he received his assignment for a single room.

“At first I was disappointed that I got a single,” McCabe said. “I didn’t know really anyone out here and wanted to be forced to deal with an unknown situation.”

But after a few weeks of privacy in a crowded residence hall, McCabe was thrilled with his room.

Soon-to-be Buff Matt Sparks got his housing assignment in April, but said he won’t get to meet his roommate in person for a while because his roommate is an international student.

Sparks, who grew up in Colorado and attends Pueblo East High School, was looking to expand his horizons without going too far from family.

“This is really a perfect setup for me,” Sparks said. “I can stay in Colorado but still get the diverse perspective from my roommate.”


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