It's common – even expected – that room transfers and roommate switches rise in residence halls across Ball State's campus each winter.

Becky Isaacs, assistant director of Housing and Residence Life, said there are around 900 room transfers each year, with many of those changes occurring during the transition from the fall semester to the spring semester. 

So far this semester, Isaacs said there have been 289 moves relating to room type changes, room changes within the same hall and other similar incidents.

"It's tricky because there are so many different scenarios and situations the residence hall directors see," Isaacs said. "They can all be unique."

On average, about 65 percent of students, new and returning, mutually confirm to one another to be roommates, meaning they agree to live together for the upcoming academic year, Isaacs said.

But Isaacs said that many times, the room transfer requests come from residents meeting new friends they want to live with. Other times, however, there are disagreements between roommates and one or both will chose to move out of the room.

Kayla Irvine, a junior double major in social studies education and history, found herself in need of a new roommate earlier in the semester after her first roommate moved out for an opening as an residence assistant. The move, she said, wasn't as bad as she thought.

"I did not stress about having to find a new roommate because I figured that if I needed a new roommate, they would give one to me," Irvine said. "My old roommate moved out probably mid-late September, so I thought I had the room to myself until spring semester because [hall directors] already did consolidation in the residence halls earlier in the semester."

After her first roommate moved out, Irvine said she learned that she would have a new roommate – a student transferring from Ivy Tech. Irvine said she her new roommate, however, wasn't as close with her as she had hoped.

"She became really close with all of her friends on another floor, so I had a roommate but never really saw her that often," Irvine said. "Thankfully, I was already adjusted to living in the room and being away at college."

Although Irvine's second roommate transferred from a different school, Isaacs said Ball State students who request a room transfer most likely stay on campus, with help from residence hall directors.

"Rarely do students move off-campus, as we have a residency requirement, and even if eligible to live off campus, they would have [to] break their housing contract, where a penalty can incur," Isaacs said.

If and when other students move rooms or switch roommates, Irvine said it's all about kindness and an open mind.

"Be willing to compromise," Irvine said. "It won't be as bad as you think."