As you might expect, moving into a dorm with a total stranger comes with adjustments. You and your new roommate totally have the potential to become lifelong friends, but it’s important to understand each other before jumping into this brand new living situation. Grab your roomie and take a look at these essential questions we rounded up. It’ll be smooth sailing from here!
1. What are you bringing for the dorm?
Shareable items in the dorm — like a microwave, TV, and mini fridge — can be split up between you and your roommate so that you’re both contributing equally to the room. Make sure you know what your roommate plans on bringing so that you can ensure you’re covering all the essentials.
2. Do you want to coordinate dorm decor?
Maybe you guys will want to stick with a whole theme, or maybe you’ll just want to coordinate colors. Figure this out before move-in day so you can plan ahead!
3. How would you like to divide the chores?
There will undoubtedly be some tension if the same person ends up taking the trash out and cleaning the bathroom week to week. Split the responsibilities equally!
4. How neat do you like to keep the room?
If you’re the type that just tosses your banana peel onto your desk until it starts browning, your roommate may be in for a shock when they’re used to keep things immaculate. Talk about your individual organization styles with each other, and then come up with a way to compromise.
5. What temperature do you prefer the room to be at?
Sure, falling asleep in an arctic tundra might sound like bliss to you, but your roommate might prefer to cozy up in a warmer temperature. Once again, it’s about compromise!
6. What are you willing or not willing to share?
It’s great if your roommate is willing to share food, clothing, and other essentials – but don’t just assume that they will! Communicate what’s off limits for sharing, what’s totally cool to take with permission, and what items are equally for the both of you.
7. Do you have any allergies I should know about?
This might not seem like something you would need to worry about, but it’s best to be safe! Serious allergies, like a peanut allergy, can be triggered by the slightest scent of that PB&J sandwich you whipped up before class.
8. When and where do you like to study?
Some people prefer to study in the dorm room, and that’s okay! Just make sure you guys share your study schedules with each other so that you know when to keep the volume to a minimum.
9. What are your thoughts on having friends and visitors?
It’s important that you come to an agreement with your roommate on what time of day visitors should be allowed over, and how many friends are okay to bring over at once. You wouldn’t want your roommate bringing over a party of people while you’re studying for a big final, would you? You can always come up with a system, like shooting a quick text prior to bringing friends over.
10. What about overnight guests?
If your roommate is cool with a friend or significant other staying the night, that’s great! Just be cautious not to abuse this. Your roommate should have the same respect in return, but make sure to discuss what is and isn’t okay so that you’re both not left guessing.
11. What time do you like to go to bed?
You don’t have to have the same sleep schedule as your roommate, but it helps to understand when they prefer to sleep so that you know when to quiet down and say goodbye to any visitors.
12. Are you a heavy or light sleeper?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could pop some popcorn and blast a movie without waking up our roommates? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Discuss whether they wake up to the drop of a pin, or if they can easily sleep through some soft playing music and TV.
13. What time do you typically wake up?
As we mentioned, you don’t need the same sleep schedule as your roommate in order to make your living situation work. It’s all about communicating and knowing when to keep the volume to a minimum!
14. What do you typically do on weekends?
Is your roommate the type to stay in with a good book or movie? Or will they likely be out until 2 a.m. each weekend? Maybe they like to visit home at the end of each week. You get the idea!
15. What are your interests?
You’re going to be spending the rest of the school year living together, so you might as well get to know what kinds of things spark your roomie’s interest. You never know, maybe you’ll have a lot in common!
16. How should we handle disagreements?
While some think face-to-face confrontation is too intimidating, others feel that something like leaving a note is too passive aggressive. If you don’t understand how your roommate prefers to handle these situations, you might end up adding even more fuel to the fire!
17. What are your pet peeves?
It’s only polite that you respect the little things that irk your roommate, and hopefully, they’ll do the same for you! For example, if your roommate can’t stand loud gum chewers, you may want to wait until you’re out the door to pop that piece of Trident.
18. Is there anything you absolutely won’t tolerate?
Here’s a big one! This is the perfect opportunity for your roommate to let you know of any big things to avoid in order to keep the peace in the room. Of course, you should share your deal breakers as well!
19. Is there any time that the TV or music shouldn’t be on?
Some people like background noise when they sleep and study, some people can’t stand it. Make sure you know where your roommate stands on this issue!
20. What is your class schedule like?
If you know your roommate has an 8 a.m. lecture on Tuesdays, you’ll know not to have your friends over late on Monday night — and vice versa!
21. How familiar are you with the campus?
Does your roommate already know the campus like the back of their hand? Great! You’ll have a friend to show you around. Are they just as new and confused as you are? Not a problem! You’ll have a friend to start exploring campus with.
22. Do you plan on joining any clubs or organizations?
Here’s a great opportunity to bond with your roommate. If you guys have similar interests, you can look for ways to get involved on campus together!
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