If you haven’t already started your first year in college, you’re likely anticipating the moment of meeting your new college roommate. What would they really be like? Will you have anything in common? It might sound harsh, but I’d wager that few people become instant best friends with their first-year college roommates. Schools do their best to match you by finding some common ground through surveys, but sometimes, the type of people you are on paper might not be as compatible once you’re finally living together.
Either way, the only way to ensure a relatively smooth transition into roommatehood is to set some agreed-upon ground rules, and keep the lines of communication open if something you “established” doesn’t work out. By having that conversation early, you can set expectations with each other about what you see your roommate situation looking like.
To help you start the conversation, here are 5 questions to ask your new college roommate:
- What are your thoughts on sharing? This could range from food to clothes to electronics and computer passwords. You don’t want to step on any toes and you’d hope that your roommate wouldn’t either. My rule of thumb is to ask permission for smaller things (food or toothpaste, for example), even if you got the okay previously. And if you think you’re okay with sharing items that your roommate winds up taking advantage of, speak up.
- What annoys you? This may seem like a weird question to put out into the open, but you’re welcoming the opportunity to avoid so many problems that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
- What are your sleeping habits? If you’re one to stock your schedule with 8:00 a.m. classes but your roommate stays up until 3 in the morning, you’ll want to set up a designated lights-out and sound-off time. If you tend to keep opposite hours, be considerate of the other who is sleeping. Stay quiet while you’re getting ready in the morning, or plug earbuds into your laptop to watch late night Hulu videos.
- Do you expect a lot of visitors or overnight guests? You’ll want to figure out how often or how long people can stay – meaning both friends and significant others. Come up with an agreed-upon plan when one of you needs the room exclusively, and have some common sense about inviting people over every single night.
- If you suddenly won $100,000, what would you do? Have a little fun with what could be an awkard conversation. This question can actually be really insightful, as it can tell you about their values, their dreams, and their hobbies and social activities.
Get these questions out of the way, and you’ll lay a solid foundation for a great roommate relationship and potentially a lasting friendship!
What are some other less-obvious questions you’d ask your roommate?
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