The Malta University Residence is not just a bunch of buildings with lots of beds and desks – it’s a home!
Actually, it’s a lively colorful place filled with vibrant, funny, smart, caring people from around the globe, some who will become best friends. Inside your new home are friendly staff who will help you get used to your new environment, some of whom will become trusted advisors.
Students often find that their social circle begins in their room and expands outward. From roommates, to friends in other townhouses, to friends across campus and in class, you never know where your experience could lead you!
A part of the off campus living experience is living with a room-mate. A room-mate can be someone to socialize with, a study partner, or someone to have a conversation with about your day. If you and your room-mate are facing challenges living together, we recommend that you discuss your problems with a fellow resident or a member of staff who can help.
How do I Start Dealing with my Room-mate(s)?
Although you have dealt with relationships before, some new tools especially suited to room-mate relations are the “getting acquainted” exercise and “room-mate contracts” below. Getting to know each other and discussing expectations in the beginning can help prevent problems from occurring.
Getting Acquainted Exercise
Here are some questions to help you get to know each other.
1. BACKGROUND QUESTIONS: Family? Motive for being at the University in Malta? Major interests? Hobbies?
2. STUDY STYLE: What time of day/night do you study? Where? How much noise can you tolerate when studying? What grades do you hope to make?
3. EMOTIONAL STYLE: Enjoy being alone? Need or want company? Date? Social butterfly or homebody? Moody? How do you express anger? Depression? Are you aggressive, assertive, or passive?
4. LIFESTYLE: Attitudes about religion? Politics? Alcohol? Drugs? Sex? Are you a night owl or a day person? Organized? Plan ahead or spur of the moment? How do you feel about borrowing and lending clothes? Sharing Food? Sharing personal items?
5. HOUSEKEEPING: How to divide chores? Sloppy or neat?
6. GUESTS: What hours will guests be welcome? How many guests at a time? Overnight guests? Guests of the opposite sex?
Some issues are best dealt with by contracts or formal discussion. The biggest mistake room-mates make is not discussing a problem as it develops. For each of the areas, agree upon a procedure and write it down. Even if your room-mate is your best friend, you will want to discuss how life as room-mates will “work.”
1. What kind of communication you will have
2. Quiet time
4. Guest hours
5. Room or apartment cleanliness
7. Stereo, radio, and musical instrument use
8. Personal habits
9. Other specific topics
10. Doing dishes, purchasing household items such as TP and cleaning supplies, shared food items as everything fair game or will we mark all food items
Key Points to Remember
* Be willing to speak freely and listen
* Try to understand rather than evaluate
* Be receptive to different ways of life and different values
* Room-mates do not have to be best friends (though some grow to be)
* Respect your room-mate as a person and be willing to compromise
* Share common interests, build on them, and develop others
* Have other friends