This is the first time I am going to be living with a roommate. What are some insiders tips you have to getting along? What resources does The University of Texas at Austin have to resolve roommate conflicts?

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Bao Nguyen, The University of Texas Austin Noodle Brand Ambassador

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I think it’s important to have a talk at the beginning after you two move in. Just clearly state what you expect of them and they can do the same for you. This way, you guys have set straight everything upfront and will help prevent conflicts in the future. If there happens to be conflicts somewhere along the way, it’s important to talk about them. Come up with solutions and make it happen. If all else fails, you can fill out a room change request on your My Housing page. Students are able to indicate hall and roommate preferences for their room change. Once the request is received, a Hall Coordinator may contact the student to talk over the reasons behind their request. The HC will then either approve or deny the request. The HC will also indicate to the Housing Reservations staff if the room change is an urgent need. If the request is approved, it will be forwarded to Housing Reservations where it will be handled based on housing application date order. If the request has been labeled as an urgent need, Housing Reservations will attempt to make the room change as soon as possible. When a vacancy is available, the student is notified. Some room changes are able to happen within the week of them being requested. Others may take all semester. It depends on the availability of the hall and room type that the student is requesting.

Amy McElroy, Graduate of Women's College, SMU Law School; Writer, Parent of Two

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Like other schools, UT Austin has an extensive residential life staff on call to help students resolve these types of issues. You should feel free to go to them with any questions or concerns. I would particularly encourage you not to wait until issues with your roommate are beyond repair or you are feeling desperate. The residential life staff is not a last resort, but is specifically trained to help guide you into the transition of all aspects of college life, including housing at college and getting used to a roommate.

Likewise, I would advise you to directly approach your roommate with any issues from the get-go. Politely address any significant concerns or problems as they arise, and don't let them fester. You will always do certain things that get on each other's nerves, and accepting that before you go into it will help you have reasonable expectations. But anything that really bothers you or impedes your health, safety, sleeping, schoolwork, or stress level needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. If tension starts to build, be the one to reach out and break it. Realize that different backgrounds and habits will affect how you live differently, but you can also learn things from each other as a result, even if you don't become best friends. Best of luck!

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