Housing & Residence Life

Roommate Tips

HRL believes strongly in the value of the campus residential experience. This experience provides you with exciting opportunities to meet new people and to be exposed to different difference cultures and lifestyles. This can start with your roommate.

One of the key ingredients to a successful living experience is a solid relationship between roommates and a healthy roommate relationship takes time to develop. An important place to start is by getting to know each other. Make time to find out about your roommate'€™s background, habits, interests, and pet peeves. Talk about the differences between you, how they may affect your living environment and what compromises you both may have to maintain harmony. Discuss what you hope for in a roommate relationship.

Remember, while you may be very close to a person as a friend, your living habits may not be compatible. If you are thinking of identifying a preferred roommate, take the time to discuss the following topics with your potential roommate before making a commitment to live together.

Students interested in searching for a roommate before the application deadline may use the Roommate Finder (see below). Remember, the majority of students do not come to Duke with a preferred roommate, so it is OK if you don't find someone.

Talking Points

  • Schedules: study time versus sleep time, noise hours vs quiet hours
  • Guests: acceptable hours, overnight, significant others
  • Room Condition: temperature, cleanliness, bunking or lofting beds (as appropriate)
  • Sharing: personal belongings, shared expenses (CATV, telephone), etc.

Things to Remember

  • Many students have never had to share a bedroom before. Be prepared to compromise.
  • If a strong friendship develops between roommates, that's great, but don'€™t necessarily expect to be best friends. The important thing is to accept, appreciate, and grow from the experience of living with someone who may be very different from you.
  • Remember that each of you have rights. Treat your roommate(s) as you would like to be treated.
  • Don'€™t rely on first impressions. Make the time to know each other.

Think about how you would complete these statements:

  • I'm a good roommate because:
  • I would like to find a roommate who:

Facebook can be a great tool for finding a roommate, when used properly. We encourage students to be thoughtful in what they put in their profile, remember, you are marketing yourself as a potential roommate, so your profile should be representative of who you really are, not who you wish you were. Don't rely solely on a Facebook profile to decide if you can live with your roommate, and remember to update your profile so you feel it is an accurate representation of yourself. On the flip side, take everything you see on Facebook with a grain of salt. Before ruling someone out based on their profile, try having a conversation with them, or see if you have mutual friends who can fill you in on what they are really like.

Roommate Agreement
During your first weeks of school, your Resident Assistant will be asking you to formally address some of the issues you have discussed by completing a Roommate Living Agreement. This document assists you in understanding and communicating needs and expectations related to study time, sleep time, cleanliness, guests, shared use of personal belongings, etc. See a copy of the Roommate Agreement.

Roommate Finder
In order to post your information in the finder, submit a roommate finder entry. We'll post your information (pending approval of the content) on this site for other students to view. You can request that your information be removed at any time. If you choose to submit a roommate finder entry, please note that information posted can be viewed by anyone.  Be honest in your submissions. This is your chance to make a first impression and find a good match. Try to keep your statements positive. For example, instead of saying "I don't like red," say "I like blue."

  • Step 1: Submit your information using our online form.
  • Step 2: Review the site regularly for new entries - contact anyone with whom you think you'll be compatible.
  • Step 3: When you have found a roommate, exchange Unique ID numbers and be sure to request each other on your applications.