Roommates 101: Questions to ask

By Victoria Snell

Living with someone whom you haven’t lived with before can be both exciting and frustrating. Everyone has different habits, and while your shower singing may be a stress-reliever for you, it might be annoying to your roommate.

The number one important value to keep in mind when it comes to any kind of relationship is communication.

To begin communication, there are several questions that you should ask both yourself, as well as your roommate from the get-go, in order to set yourself up for the most positive year with your roommate. It’s also important that you are open and honest to make sure that everything is laid out on the table from the beginning.

What are your hobbies?

This could also be altered into “tell me about yourself,” or “tell me about your interests.” It’s definitely important to know what your roommate is interested in, or where they come from. Talking about each other may spark a common interest for you to build an initial bond.

What are your biggest pet peeves?

Everybody has them. From playing music while studying to not cleaning up immediately, an afterthought for you might be a major headache for your roommate. It’s equally important to ask your roommate this question, as well as being honest when answering this question. While it may not seem as big of a deal, if it has the potential to set you off in the future, mention it. It’s also important to be open and flexible to what your roommate has to say.

How often/late should company be around?

College opens the door to many new friends. While there is no curfew, perspectives on how often or how late friends are around may vary between you and your roommate. Asking each other how you feel about this can help set a standard for what may or may not be okay with your roommate in the future.

What time do you go to bed at? 

Some people are just natural early risers while others are night owls. Figuring out when you both go to bed helps from getting stuck in a 1 a.m. situation where your roommate is watching Netflix and you just want to sleep. Sleep is vital to succeeding the best academically, so it’s important to get this straightened out right away. 

Do you have any allergies?

If you share or make each other food, it is important that you aren’t using items that may send your roommate to the emergency room. The same applies with items such as laundry detergents and soaps, as well as household pets and animal fur. If you have food or items that you simply do not wish to give up, it is important to keep them away from your roommate in order to ensure healthy cohabitation.

How should we divide living responsibilities?

Cohabitation involves splitting household duties. In an apartment or house, it is important to establish initial ground rules for your living environment from chores to bills. Discuss responsibilities involving taking out the trash, washing dishes, and keeping the common areas clean. It is also important to establish a reasonable time to pay each other for bills. When it comes to bills, be sure to talk about the best ways to conserve energy or water, so that bills aren’t hiked up to expensive rates.

While there are probably many more questions to ask each other, these questions remain important as a foundation to start understanding each other from the beginning of your relationship as roommates. Tweet: Struggling with the roommate? Ask each other the fundamental questions.

Victoria is a senior in Media.
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