For security, legal and social reasons, there are time-proven community standards for you and your guests (for whom you are responsible). Violations of these standards can result in disciplinary action and forfeiture of your housing assignment.
Before you arrive, you and your roommate will need to talk over who is bringing what, so you can reduce the number of space-taking things (such as TVs, carpet, fans) you can share. Their phone number will be in your assignment letter. After you get to UNI, you will also need to talk together about the similarities and differences in your preferences for sharing your space together. This includes things like study habits, frequency of friends in the room and room cleanliness.
Because sorting out preferences between roommates is so important, your RA will arrange with both of you a time to share what you have worked out as your agreement for living together. That agreement, "Shared Space", will be in writing. Each of you and the RA will keep a copy, in case it's necessary to refer back to in the months ahead. The process of identifying and agreeing on ways to live together will be the most important part of your roommate agreement.
Three keys to coping with homesickness are understanding, involvement and patience. First, understand that change is almost always difficult and that you are going through a huge change. Second, get involved. Engagement in the social and academic parts of your life is essential to making the adjustment. You have a lot to offer, but you need to expose yourself to different arenas in which you can make contributions. Third, be patient with yourself, people here, people at home and this new place. Pay attention to these three things and you'll eventually have two places -- here and home -- where you feel like you belong.
Also, remember that you can talk about how things are going with your RA. Sometimes, it just helps to have someone else to listen and provide some advice.
The most frequent reason for room change requests are initial feelings of incompatibility with a roommate. These usually disappear when at least one roommate makes efforts to communicate and negotiate such things as when guests can be in the room, cleanliness, bed times and sharing/borrowing possessions. Take the initiative to talk about these things with your roommate, early on. Almost all roommate relationships can be successful, but only with genuine effort. If you'd like help with this, ask your RA for ideas. But, most of all, be the roommate who tries to communicate caringly and honestly, as early in the relationship as possible. Remember, your roommate is probably new to having a roommate, too. So, be patient with both of you.
You may request a room change through your Residence Life Coordinator, once you have arrived. Changes depend on availability of rooms. Most will not happen until after the first two weeks of classes.
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