School is back in session and that should mean you have figured out your living situation for the new year. Regardless of where you are living or who you are living with, now is the time to set ground rules and figure out how to make your living situation work for the school year. The common factor that determines whether things are good or bad in all situations is the level of communication. If you communicate early on about what you want your living situation to look like, it will make things easier in the long run, guaranteed.
To help start the conversation with your roommate, here is a list of questions you should be sure to ask. Will it be weird to bring these up with the stranger assigned to you by the school? Of course, but three months from now, you will be glad you had the awkward conversation.
- How do you feel about overnight guests? This question can refer to both friends visiting and people you are hooking up with. Figuring out your policy on this question is probably one of the most important things. You will want to figure out how often people can stay, if it is okay if anyone stays over on a school night, and if you share a bedroom, what the roommate is supposed to do. If you did not know, it is not okay to hook up while the other person is sleeping in the same room, even if they are passed out.
- Do you smoke cigarettes or otherwise? Housing assignments are given to keep smokers and non-smokers apart. Nearly all campuses prohibit residences from smoking in the dorms so the problem of smoking in the room does not exist. Unless your roommate totally ignores the rule, then you have a problem. Knowing if your roommate does drugs is vital. If you are uncomfortable with them bring or doing drugs in your presence, make them aware of it from day one.
- What time do you wake up and go to bed? What are your morning and nighttime routines? Finding out what hours your roommate keeps is important. Having a designated lights-out time is always good to ensure everyone gets the sleep they need (and reading lights are a great solution if one roommate needs to stay up later). Also, find out how much time they take to get ready in the morning. No sleeping roommate wants to be awoken by a hair dryer or music playing.
- How often do you party? Do you drink? How much/often? How much someone parties can change drastically when they start college. No one wants to take care of a drunken roommate. Let your roommate know if they plan on going out and having a good time do not come in disturbing the peace.
- How often do you study? What environment do you like when you study? Music on/off? Complete silence? What time of day? In the room or in the library? These are all ways to determine your roomie’s study habits, and it is important to know what works best and how it will fit in with your preferred study regimen. You are in college to learn, after all.
Get these things out of the way now and you will be smooth sailing through second semester and beyond!
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