1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Everything You Need to Know About Roommates

How to Find One, Negotiate Room Rules & Troubleshoot Problems


Ah, roommates... They can be wonderful. They can be completely irritating. But one thing's for sure: college rooommates are a learning experience. These tips will help parents help - or at least murmur sympathetically - as their college kid chooses a roommate, negotiates room rules and copes with common problems.

1. Signing Up for Dorms & College Housing

iStock Photo

The college acceptances have finally arrived and your child has decided where he'll be spending the next four years. The top priority now should be finding him campus housing - and filling out those roommate forms. Him, not you.

2. Meeting the Roommate

A fraternity waterfight
Photo by Gene Lester/Getty Images
Five tips for the first meeting. Plus, a list of what parents should - and should not - do.

3. 4 Reasons Not to Room with a High School Buddy

Photo by Sanja Gjenero, Stock.Xchng

It’s tempting to room with a best friend from high school. There’s no anxious waiting period to discover who the roommate is, no awkward first meeting or weirdness of living with a stranger. But college students say it's a lousy idea. Here's why.

4. College Advice Books: 'The Naked Roommate'

press photo

Dorm food, non-existent closets, naked roommates - there's more to college than just academics. It's a huge lifestyle adjustment for young adults. And this book, by Harlan Cohen, is hands down the best one out there. <a href="http://youngadults.about.com/od/dormlife/gr/nakedroommate.htm">Read the review</a> here. Then <a href="http://about.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/isbn=9781402219016/search=naked%20roommate/st=product/sv=title&mode=about_youngadults&">compare prices</a> here.

5. 5 Good Things About Bad Roommates

Photo by Josh Blake, iStock Photo
Welcome to the silver lining department, roommate division. Yes, there are some very good things to be said for bad roommates, and telling great stories later on is just one of them. At the very least, these five things will make all of you feel better!

6. Worst. Roommate. Ever.

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Your kid thinks he has it bad? Here are 28 readers' stories about their worst roommate experiences - and some of them are just hilarious. Commiserate, laugh, then add yours to the list.

7. Sick Roommates and Your Child's Health

First aid kit
Jackie Burrell
The call comes late at night, jangling you awake, perhaps, and making you frantic too. But this time, it's not your child who's sick, it's his girlfriend, her boyfriend or a roommate that's sick. Your child doesn't know what to do. And now you're worried about your child's health too. Here's what to do.

8. Troubleshooting: Roommates & Sex

Photo by Jackie Burrell

One of the most valuable parts of the college and dorm experience is learning to live with other people - and every college parent gets a call at one time or another about roommate squabbles. Here's some advice for dealing with a classic:  roommates who use the shared space for doing the deed... while your kid is there.

9. Troubleshooting: The Perpetually Unlocked Door

Photo courtesy of Petr Kovar, Stock.Xchng Photos
Advice for dealing with yet another classic roommate problem: The roommate who won't lock the door - ever.

10. Troubleshooting: Roommates Who "Borrow" Stuff

Photo courtesy of Fleur Suijten, Stock.Xchng
First, it was charming. Perhaps. But when your child's closet, desk or laptop become common property, what do you do then?
  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Young Adults
  4. Dorm Life
  5. College Roommate 101

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.