In college, it is impossible not to make new friends. You are always surrounded by new people. Even in your dorm room, there will be a roommate. Chances are, however, you won’t feel like making friends right away. Still, you have to do your best to try to develop harmonious relationship; otherwise, your life will become a nightmare.
So, how do you establish roommate rules and what roommate questions do you ask to make you both feel comfortable?
For starters, you have to discuss the basic stuff: what time you usually go to bed, when you wake up, whether you like your room to be super clean or not, and so on. You might think this is not that important, but everyday routine is the reason for most quarrels.
Once the basic rules are established, you can make yourselves some tea and have a good conversation. To avoid awkward silence, discuss the following topics:
#1. Home city/home country. You might be surprised to discover your roomie actually comes from South Africa, Japan or Iceland… It’s always interesting to learn someone else’s story, how he/she decided to move, why choosing this or that city, etc. You may also ask about the other places where your roommate lived, about his/her family and birthplace. People usually like discussing such things, and it will help you understand the person you are going to live with.
#2. College. If you think you and your roommate are completely different people, you are wrong: out of thousands other colleges, you both have chosen this one.
This might be a good starting point for a conversation. Ask him/her what the reason for making this choice was. Did they apply to any other colleges? Did they have a gap year or came right after high school? Remember to share your own experience and expectations as well.
#3. Favorite disciplines. Probably, your academic interests will be different. Even if you both major in the same field, you may like different subjects. So, share your interests. In case they are similar, discuss why you like the subject and what you expect to learn in college.
#4. Curricular and extracurricular. You might not know it yet, but your roommate can be a professional cello player or a Frisbee champion! It doesn’t mean they will continue it in college, though. Use the chance to discuss their curriculum plans as well as plans for extracurricular activities. In any case, you have to be prepared to discuss his/her interests once you move in.
#5. Work. Some students dedicate all their time to studying, whereas the others decide to have a part-time job. And what does your roommate prefer? Will they work? Do they have any working experience? Where are they planning to work?
These were only a few of the discussion topics to help you find common ground with your roommate. There’s a lot of other things to discover: hobbies, sports preferences, favorite music bands, books, etc. Just try to stay friendly. You’re going to live under one roof, after all 🙂