Conversations you really ought to have with your roommate before you move in

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You get a letter from Residence Life and you open it with a combination of nervousness and excitement. The news is in and your roommate has been decided. At last the wait is over.

So what do you do now that you know your roommate’s name?

Figure out who they ARE. Like. What do they like to do? What are they all about?

Talking with your future roommate is the next extremely important step before you move in. When I found out my roommate my sophomore year, I was unable to contact him until the very first time I stepped onto our floor.

The consequences? We entered our room with no TV, no decorations of any kind and neither one of us knew anything about the other person. This was a disaster that should’ve – and could’ve – been avoided.

If you’ve never met your housing partner the first thing you need to do is to get to know them. And I don’t mean creep their Facebook profile. Have real conversations with them. Figure out what kind of person they are. What things do you have in common and what things might you have to compromise on? Getting these chats out of the way pre-move in will make it less awkward when you meet them for the first time. Other things to address: sleeping, cleaning, studying…

Once you feel like you know the person it’s time to plan for your mutual living space. Chances are you’re going to want to add some decoration to the room. Figure out what kind of things both you and your roommate would enjoy. For example, if you want a cactus you should really find out if your roommate is allergic before you bring one. True, you each get your own “side” of the room, but some décor is important to clear with your roommate first… like the aforementioned cactus… or a full-size wall mural of Justin Bieber… (Your roommate might not like waking up to the Biebs staring at him/her every morning like you do.)

Also figure out what furniture and accessories you both want and how to layout the room. If you’re afraid of heights and don’t want to loft your bed, you may want to clarify that before you get to campus and your roomie has already planted a massive futon under your now-lofted bed. Ask them if they want lofts, or if it even matters whether or not you have one. Don’t forget to figure out whose bringing what. An error in communication could leave you without television…

After you have had these talks with your future roommate you should be all set for a smooth move in. You’ll be ready to team up and get your room looking fly with little-to-no hassle…or awkwardness.

Remember: living in such close quarters with another person, especially if you’ve always had your own room, isn’t always easy. Don’t let little disagreements or arguments make you feel like the world is going to end. Take everything as an opportunity to grow yourself and just roll with it. You have a whole floor – and Residence Hall – full of people to hang out with, too!

So…let’s get to chattin!


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