Questions to Ask Your Roommate Before You Move in
Of all the factors that can make or break your first semester of living on campus, your roommate is among the most important. Just like your classes, a large part of your success will hinge on you being prepared and having proper expectations.
Talk with your roommate before you move in to go over some ground rules and expectations. Even if you already know each other, you probably haven’t discussed some these items.
Who Brings What?
If you discuss nothing else, definitely take time to decide who will bring the microwave and who will bring the mini-fridge. You also don’t want to spend the money on a futon only to find your roommate brought one. Likewise, you might want to discuss if you’ll both buy ink for one printer or if you’ll both have your own.
When Is Bedtime?
You want a schedule that allows you to sleep until noon, but on the contrary, your roommate loves doing yoga with the sunrise. You still can keep your respective schedules, but one of you might need to sleep with an eye mask or do the bulk of your studying in a common area within your dorm. There can be a happy medium between your schedules.
Is it okay if your friends are hanging out in your room at 11:00 p.m. on a Tuesday? Or can your best friend from home sleep on your futon for a week? Always ask your roommate if you're unsure. Don’t tiptoe around what the expectations are. This will help stop disagreements from happening in the future and instill a sense of respect.
Take Turns Cleaning
Each roommate should have a set of tasks they do each week or month. You wouldn't want trash to pile up or grime to cover the bathroom (if you have one), or even have litter all over the floor. When you establish that you like a clean living space, little tasks divided amongst yourselves can really spare your sanity and your friendship.
Turn It Down
Sometimes, something as simple as music can cause a disagreement. So like anything else, err on the side of caution and be respectful. Would you want someone blaring loud bass when you're trying to study? State your needs and empathize with the needs of others, too.
Compromising is a lifelong tool for success, whether in school, at home or at your workplace. So learning to live with another person is a valuable and money-saving skill.