Unless you get wildly lucky with roommate draws, there’s a pretty good chance that the person you’ll be sleeping, studying, and living with for the next year is a total stranger. And there’s also a pretty good chance that the two of you will not have the perfect relationship. Some roommates come away from their first year together as the best of friends, but for the most part, forging a healthy relationship requires planng, transparency, and compromise. One of the best ways to ensure a good experience is having a discussion with your soon-to-be roommate as early as possible. The following are some of the topics you should probably cover before move-in day:
Who’s bringing what: Make a list of what appliances and electronics you’re going to share (common items might include a TV, mini fridge, microwave, etc). Identify who already has what and what items you might need to purchase before moving in.
Sleep habits: Are you a night owl or morning person? Are you a light sleeper? Do you need to keep a light on when you go to bed? Be as open as possible and keep in mind that sleeping with a roommate isn’t going to be perfect, but the two of you should make an effort to be as compromising as possible.
Study Habits: Do you need background noise or total silence while you work? Do you plan on studying in the room often or leaving to go to the library from time to time? Understanding what atmosphere your space needs to have is important for establishing an area where you are as comfortable as possible.
Guests: Discuss how comfortable you are with having friends in the room. How much notice should you give each other if you’re planning on inviting guests over? Is there a curfew to avoid impeding on study time?
“Special” guests: This is a huge point of discussion, something you should cover before it becomes an issue. Are you comfortable with the other having male friends over (or female, if that is the case)? If so, establish a system for communicating when you need privacy. A sock on the doorknob may not be your method of choice, so come up with something that works for both of you.
Cleaning: First off, you’re both equally responsible for keeping the room clean. It’s worth discussing, however, a potential cleaning schedule so that you can stay on track.
The most important part of these early conversations is being as open-minded and transparent as possible. Don’t be embarrassed about your habits or quirks; it’s best to get everything out of the way early, lest you be more embarrassed later on.