Nervous about sharing a room with someone? Whether you handpicked your roommate on the Facebook page or are waiting for your roommate assignment from ResLife, living with a random person (or multiple people) can be scary. After all, most first-years have never even shared a room with a sibling let alone a stranger. Do not fear; Required Reading wants to help make your experience with your roommate is the best possible. A roommate can be a best friend, an acquittance, or the bane of one’s existence. To give you some hope, some roommates do end their first year as best friends and have been inseparable since the New Student Orientation Program. Other roommates maintain a friendly relationship without being super close and are able to coexist with one another. There are, of course, always some scenarios where roommates do not get along, but here are a few topics to discuss with your roommate prior to move-in day to avoid conflicts.
For those of you who entrusted the administration to pick your roommate, reach out to your new roommate(s) before school begins and get to know them. Add your roommate on Facebook and begin talking through Facebook Messenger. You will find that in college, everyone communicates through Facebook Messenger, so get used to it. Talk about hometowns, majors, and whatever small talk you find suitable. Do not fret if your interests seem to be completely different. You are each other’s roommates; there is no obligation to be best friends. You just have to find a way to coexist in a small room together.
Be honest about your sleeping habits
Since sleep is the primary purpose of your room (hopefully), be transparent about your sleep habits with your roommate. After all, your roommate will find out the truth about your habits since you will live in a room together. Sometimes roommates are perfectly matched, but this is oftentimes not the case. Do not be nervous about living with someone who has a different sleep schedule. Many roommates have opposite sleep schedules and are able to make it work without a single argument. As long as mutual respect for each other’s sleep habits is established, you and your roommate will be able to coexist in one room together and not lose too much sleep over it.
Talk about splitting the bill
Talking about money is never easy. As roommates, you may want to buy a fridge to share or buy a fan for the room to survive the months of no air conditioning. Whatever amenities you may want to spend money on, make sure to discuss purchases before making them, especially if you expect to split the bill. Your roommate could have a different budget, so be mindful when discussing items to buy together.
Mention a special move-in time if applicable
If you are an international student or a part of a special program that allows you to move-in early, let your roommate know. Many people try to arrive extra early on move-in day in order to get the best bed, especially when placed into a triple or quad. The race for the single bed (honestly anything but the top bunk bed) in a triple is real. Of course, no one outwardly discusses the race for the best bed over Facebook Messenger. This race is just an unspoken truth about move-in day. Kindly let your roommate know if you are moving in early; you’ll save this person the effort of competing in a nonexistent race.
With all this advice in mind, you should be able to avoid roommate conflicts that could arise during the move-in process. Most roommate conflicts come about from lack of communication, so make sure to talk and be honest with one another throughout the school year.
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