5 Questions for New Roommates

Posted: July 08, 2019 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 3 minutes

3 student's at a partyCollege life is full of new experiences, not the least of which is living with a roommate. First-time roommates often have questions about what to expect and what to do when moving in with their new roommate. 

Here are answers to five of some of the most common questions freshmen or first-time roommates have: 

What should I do before I move in?

If at all possible, it helps to contact your roommates before move in day. Social media is great for this. Contacting your future roommate helps everyone feel more comfortable when move in day comes along, and allows you to discuss who is bringing what. This way you avoid cluttering the apartment/dorm with things like excess kitchen supplies or extra bath mats.

How do I find alone time? 

Even the most social people need their space. A common concern for when sharing a small living space is finding time to be alone. If you find yourself in need of a little ‘me time’ try exploring campus to find your own favorite retreat spot. This could be anything from a reading nook to a shady bench outside. Just a place that you enjoy. 

Another trick is to learn your roommate’s schedule. Chances are you won’t have the exact same class schedule, so when you know they’ll be out for an hour or two plan to use the room for some personal time. 

When should I check in with my roommate?

While roommates aren’t responsible for each other, it’s a common courtesy to let them know if you’ll be out of town for a few days or spending the night with a friend. It’s also nice to send a text if your roommate isn’t back by the time they said they’d be. Who knows? They might need someone to bail them out of that awkward blind date. 

Whatever the case, be sure to have a conversation with your roommate about if and/or when they want you to check in. This way roommates can help keep each other safe without making anyone feel pestered. It’s also smart to exchange emergency contact information to use in the event of an accident.

How can I be a good roommate? 

A huge part of being a good roommate is cleanliness. This doesn't just mean keeping your half of the room nice and tidy. In all honesty, your roommate probably isn’t going to care if you make your bed. They don’t sleep in it, but they do use the kitchen and the bathroom. Most people would prefer roommates who clean up after themselves and do their fair share of the chores.

Remembering to be considerate and polite is another sure way to be the favorite roommate. Little things like keeping the noise levels to a minimum, and asking before borrowing something go a long way in maintaining healthy roommate relationships. 

How do I befriend my roommate? 

Some people work better as friends than as roommates, and others make better roommates than friends. There are however those roommates who have the potential to become your life long friends. Whether you think this might be the case, or whether you just want to make new friends, the best way to befriend your roommate is to spend time with them. 

Invite them to go do something with you or start a conversation. Keeping it casual and pressure free will help the relationship to develop naturally. However, a good tip for improving your roommate conversations is to keep your response above three syllables. For example, if your roommate asks, “what’s up?,” answering with “nothing much” won’t get you as far as a slightly longer conversation. Try a conversation that looks more like, “How was class?” “Good, my professor is pretty funny.” 

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for living with a roommate is to have a positive attitude and an open mind. No roommate situation is perfect but being ready and willing to make things work with your new roommate can help even the trickiest situations. For more advice on living with roommates see additional SUU articles on the subject.

Tags: Student

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