Sharing a Space
Many students do not have experience sharing their personal spaces with others. It's important to have honest conversations and set boundaries with roommates in order to make sure everyone has the best experience.
Many students report that living with others is a rewarding and valuable experience. Sharing a room can feel unfamliar, but can help students meet others, feel connected, and gain valuable skills like communication, mediation, and empathy.
To prepare for living with someone, we always suggest that students consider what they are looking from in an roommate - do they want to be friends or just acquaintances? Neither is wrong, but expectations can play a big role in fostering healthy relationships.
Students should also be prepared to be honest with one another. If a student is frustrated with the way their roommate keeps the room, they cannot expect them to know that without communicating. Early and frequent communication is key to successful roommate relationships. Students who can talk about how something affects them, are more likely to have successful interpersonal relations.
Reaching out to roommates can present a great opportunity to get to know one another, but dont judge a potential roommate on their Facebook profile. Not only is it unfair, it is also likely to be inaccurate. Check in with each other over the summer about who is bringing what to the room, and get to know each other a bit before you even arrive on campus!
If you struggle with your relationship with your roommate, you will always have someone you can reach out to. The Resident Assistant on your floor (RA) is a trained peer leader who can help you navigate all of the strategies above and will have plenty of advice to share with you! All RAs report to an Area Coordinator (AC), who is a professional staff member within the Office of Residential Life. ACs are also here to help!
THE LARGER COMMUNITY
Living in a residence hall, you will be a member of a larger floor community. These communities offer an excellent opportunity to get to know others and thrive. We even offer Special Interest Communities where you can explore topics or lifetsyles.
Living in a community is a fulfilling opportunity. You will be surprised by how many people you meet, and the many ways in which you will interact with others on your floor. These relationships may even carry on throughout your college career as you move to other buildings!
To make the most of this experience, it is important to positively contribute to your floor community. Many of the things you are used to doing in your home may not be suitable in a residence hall, where you have close neighbors. For example, residence halls have Quiet Hours so that all students can enjoy some quiet time in the evenings. We also do not permit amplifiers or musical instruments in the halls. This is because we find that the noise produced is disruptive to students who are attempting to study, sleep, or relax.
While many pursuits may not seem negative or disruptive, it is important to consider your neighbors when living in a community. We believe that the bonds you will form with those around you will far outweigh any difficulties presented by limiting your noise level. And remember, if you're having trouble with the noise around you, you can always reach out to an RA to assist you!
Part of living in a community is ensuring that everyone feels welcome and safe. In order to establish these communities, we hold residents to high behavioral standards.
As a member of a community, we hope that you will engage in behavior that is thoughtful and appropriate. We expect students to be positively engaging with those around them, and to be supporting their peers in their academic, social, and personal pursuits.
College is a time of learning, and not just inside of the classrooms. The residence halls are spaces where students learn about the wider impacts of their behaviors. When sharing communal spaces it is important to consider the ramifications of your own behavior - such as throwing out trash, contributing to the cleaning of shared spaces, and refraining from participating in policy violations.
Something as simple as leaving your trash in the shared bathroom can negatively impact those you share a suite with. We often discuss with students how small actions can have larger repercussions when you are a member of a community.
In communities where residents are intentional about their behavior, students often report feeling a sense of inclusive welcome. Students report that returning to their residence hall to be greeted by neighbors or suitemates can help contribute to a sense of belonging and that Skidmore becomes their home away from home.
If adjusting to community life is hard, reach out to a Resident Assistant! There is one RA on every floor to help residents transition to college life. They hold programs and assist students with anything that may come up.
There are many resources available to you on Skidmore's campus. Right within your floor community, there is at least one Resident Assistant ready to assist you with anything that might come up. RAs can assist students with conflicts that arise, navigating class registration, or even celebrating a great accomplishment!
Outside of the floor community there are also your Area Coordinators who oversee the building and work in Residential Life. These professional staff members are there to help with any issues that may come up and are only an email away. Check out their staff profiles here.
Beyond Residential Life, there are many offices on campus that offer specific supports, such as Student Academic Services, Health Promotion, Counseling Center, and many more. RAs are well versed in the resources on campus and should be able to make referrals as needed!