Chapter 2: Living with a Roommate

Have you been assigned to a double?

Take a deep breath – it’s going to be ok! 


Move-In 2

Although Williams offers a large percentage of singles compared to the rest of the country, a significant number of Williams students will live in a double for at least one year of their time here. In fact, approximately 40% of Williams students will have a roommate during their first year.

Student housing preferences, while taken into account, are not the only factors that are considered in the first-year housing assignment process. First & foremost, each entry is created with the goal of being as much a microcosm of the campus as a whole as it can be. After entries are created, specific room assignments are made, and sometimes the stated preferences for a single vs. double or for Mission vs. Quad are not fulfilled.

So, if you’ve got a roommate, what should you expect?

  • Don’t expect your roommate to become your best friend; if it happens, terrific, but don’t force it.
  • Understand it may take some time for both of you to adjust.
  • Don’t be afraid to be honest – but also be willing to compromise.
  • Your JAs are there to work with you if difficulties become too hard to resolve on your own.

Some advice for you from those who have come before you:

“Coming into First Days with a roommate after having wanted a single, I thought it would be an experience filled with your classic sitcom roommate dilemmas, but it turned out to be a great way to spend my freshman year. If nothing else, a roommate is great company when you’re lonely and someone you always know will be there to vent about your days together and groan together when that 9am alarm goes off in the morning. Love ya, Yolanda!” – Erica Chang ’18
“My roommate ended up taking a gap year. Instead, I ended up with a double to myself – a “dingle.” I like to think we would have been friends.” – Megan Siedman ’20
“My roommate and I got ice cream together on move-in day and were close ever since. So, my tip is, start out the year right with ice cream. It does wonders for roomie relationships. (shoutout to Merudjina, C206 for life).” – Erikka Olson ’19
“When I found out I was going to have a roommate, I was basically cursing her name (sorry Alison). Now, she’s my best friend and I can’t imagine not sharing the same tiny space with her. A roommate will, at worst, be tolerable, and at best, become your first friend in your new life. So don’t stress out too much if you get a double when you wanted a single. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be best friends with your roommate. But I promise you’ll survive, and it just might end up being better than you thought.” – Catherine Brule ’20
“You hear a lot of horror stories about living with a roommate, but if you’re both willing to put in the effort to coexist, there’s another to worry about! My freshman roommate and I were perfectly paired, and I’ll never forget the late nights chatting, eating, and studying together – love you Carm! It’s always nice having someone there to talk to, get outfit advice from, share popcorn with, and debrief about your days with at night. Having a roommate is a quintessential part of freshman year, and it’s definitely not overrated! My freshman roommate and I could literally hold hands from our respective beds in our “cozy” Frosh Quad double, but it was like having a sleepover every night with your best friend!” – Miranda Weinland ’19
“Definitely start communicating early. On move in day my roommate and I made essential decisions on whose space was whose and it led to a very cooperative year. Also, a little respect goes a long way. If one of us was sleeping, the other wouldn’t be working in the room with the light on – we would go to the common room, library, or some other good study space. A little goes a long way in terms of respecting each other and your spaces.” – Erin Denham ’20
“You and your roommate don’t have to be best friends! The first priority is learning how to live together. If you two really don’t mesh and you’re confused on what to do, your JAs can be amazing resources and can even put you in touch with other people who may be very helpful!” – Toni Wilson ’19
“As someone who really wanted to have a single coming into Williams, having a roommate has been one of the best things to happen to me this year. It’s nice to have someone to listen when you’re not having a great day, and celebrate with you when you are!” – Emily Harris ’19

So, as we said at the top, take a deep breath, it’s going to be OK. Get in touch with your roommate before coming to campus to introduce yourself & coordinate any items in the room that you might share. And keep an open mind – it could be one of the best experiences of your life!