Living with someone new can be scary, especially if you’ve never lived with anyone you weren’t related to before. A roommate can either be the closest friend you’ve ever had or a nightmare that you keep hoping to wake up from. Fortunately, all of my roommate situations have turned out pretty well. My good luck was probably just chance, but I like to think it was because I prepared mentally to live with these people.
When living with a new person you have to just assume that they have some screws loose. That way if they turn out to be normal you’ll be pleasantly surprised, but if they turn out to be straight out of the looney bin you won’t be disappointed. Don’t go into any living situation blind. Ask questions, tell them what you won’t accept.
Here are a few suggested questions to get you started:
1. Do you like the room cold or hot? This may seem like a trivial question, but when you are laying in a pool of your own sweat night after night, you’ll wish you had asked.
2. What time do you usually go to bed? My freshman year roommate had the bedtime of an eight year old, but she told me about it up front. I just took my nighttime activities elsewhere.
3. How do you feel about having friends over? This can be a serious point of contention. If you see your room as party central and your roommate views the space as her oasis of peace and quiet, you are going to have problems.
4. Do you have a boyfriend? This is the polite way of asking if you are going to have a third roommate. If you have a problem with said boyfriend being a permanent fixture in your room, say so early on.
5. How do you feel about guys sleeping over? Usually other people’s sex lives are none of your business. But, when your bed is three feet away from your roommate’s you are entitled to know how often you should expect to have to use your earplugs.
6. Do you sleep with a light on? TV on? Everybody has different sleeping habits. You might as well ask about hers.
7. How do you feel about sharing? This is especially important to ask if you are living with a friend. Friends tend to assume what’s yours is theirs. If that’s going to be a problem for you, say so. Unless you want to see your clothes all around campus.
8. What time is your first class? If your roommate has an 8 am, having a party in your room the night before probably isn’t the best way to get on her good side.
9. What are you bringing? You don’t need two TVs and two microwaves. Find out what she’s bringing so you don’t double up.
10. What problems did you and your old roommate have? If they’ve had a bad roommate experience before, it couldn’t hurt to know what went wrong.
[Lead image via AlikeYou/Shutterstock]