A Supportive Roomie

Student Perspective: Studies show a good roommate can help improve a student’s grades

College is a part of life where you discover who you are as a person and build lifelong relationships. Coming into a place with so many opportunities and new faces can make one nervous, and rightfully so. There are many changes associated with moving and workload. So, how does one control anxiety and stress that college brings?

One piece of advice is to get a roommate.

Some people worry about their roommate being a distraction that stops them from studying and finishing assignments, but I say having a roommate can improve academic performance. Students have questions, and when a professor or tutor is unavailable, that student can turn to a colleague or a classmate. And when they’re not in reach, having a roommate who understands what you’re going through can be very helpful.

A 2015 published study by Indian business students Tarun Jain and Mudit Kapoor compared the grades of students who have the academic support of a roommate and the grades of students who solely have a study group with fellow classmates. Both groups of students were given the GMAT exam for General Management students. Their study revealed that students with roommates and otherwise poor academic support have higher grades than students who just participated in a study group.

Even limited, voluntary interactions between roommates that seem minor at the time are significant. These conversations are especially important for a student to be positively influenced and have the needed inspiration to put more effort into their studies.

My roommate, Paige Shibley, and I were randomly paired the summer before our first semester at Campbell. She has absolutely had a positive influence on my college experience, personally and academically. Throughout many assignments and exams, I found myself adopting new study habits from her — these new habits allowed me to build a steady and efficient work environment and ethic. This ultimately led me to a better understanding of my classes while teaching me to persevere through frustrating material.

Some may argue that conflict is bad and can only hurt an individual, but conflict is a way to strengthen critical thinking and social skills. Learning to live with another person is challenging and brings conflict from time to time. Having difficult conversations takes maturity and creativity in tone and actions. There are moments of uncertainty and fear — which are completely normal when getting used to a new environment — but having a roommate gives a student the opportunity to grow and improve in areas that are necessary for college and the professional world.


Sarah Lominy is a freshman from Rolesville, N.C. studying pharamceutical sciences and a student in Dr. Eric Dunnum’s ENG101 course. Read more essays at blogs.campbell.edu.