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Top 10 questions to ask your first-year roommates

Rooming for the first time can be daunting task so here are some questions to get to know your roommate better

<p>Sharing with each other can make life so much easier - just remember to ask!</p>

Sharing with each other can make life so much easier - just remember to ask!

Sharing a dorm provides you with an ally to navigate the first few, terrifying weeks of college and learn about personal responsibilities. It’s important to set the tone right at the beginning of the year and ask a mix of practical questions and fun icebreakers to get to know your roommate better and find common ground. 

1. What type of food do you like?

Planning a time to eat dinner together is a great way to bond and discuss how your day went. This can also open the conversation to food allergies and dietary restrictions, which can be helpful for keeping the room safe for everyone and making sure everyone is accommodated when going out. Asking about your roommate’s eating needs can make a positive difference on this aspect of your first-year social experience right from the start.  

2. Do you think you will go out often?

One thing that can help avoid any potential conflicts is to be on the same page about how often you will be coming home late. You can talk about how often you can expect them to spend the night at someone else’s place, which can ease worries when they don’t come home one night, and you can discuss how often you might go out together. Just be sure to not be too judgemental either way — either option is valid and it’s important to support one another in how each of you plan to experience college. 

3. What do you and what do you not mind sharing?

While this question might seem a bit awkward at first, it’s important to establish boundaries clearly and early. Obviously things like towels are not to be shared — but what about your needlessly large stash of microwavable ramen or their conveniently accessible printer? Sharing with each other can make life so much easier. Just remember to ask, and to offer what you have as well! 

4. Is there anything else that our room could use?

Yes, I’m sure you put at least a little bit of thought into who’s bringing what before moving in. But now that you have moved and settled in, pose this question to your roommate in order to find more about their taste — your roommate might throw out a suggestion that you would have never even thought of. This is a fantastic way to improve your relationship, being open to suggestions and offering them the opportunity to be more of themselves. 

5. Were you a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon kid?

This might seem like a silly question, but it can be a great conversation starter to find out more about each other. It’s easy to fall into the trap of exclusively asking practical questions about bedtimes and messiness, so be sure to make time to know each other as people and not just roommates. You can even plan a movie night with your hall or suite to watch your favorite Disney Channel movie and catch them up on what they missed or see something comforting. 

6. Do you have a romantic partner?

Another potential point of conflict is how often either of you will have people over. While you cannot know what will happen in the future, knowing if your roommate is already dating someone at school can help both of you plan how you will handle having the room to yourselves. Asking these questions and setting these boundaries can be a bit awkward at first, so starting off by asking if they have a partner or plan to date can be a great way to start. 

7.  What is your sleep schedule like?

Now, you both might have already discussed this, but asking this question can also prompt a deeper conversation about how to accommodate each other’s nocturnal habits. If you luck out, and the two — or more — of you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time, then there’s nothing to sweat! But in the more likely case of mismatching sleep schedules, I’d suggest discussing how best to approach this conflict in order to avoid frustration and bitterness further into the semester. 

8.  What welcome week activities are you excited for?

Every year there are many activities planned by New Student Programs. Check out this list of activities planned for Wahoo Welcome and ask if there are any your roommate is excited about. You can plan on doing them together or deciding which ones you wouldn’t mind skipping for roommate bonding or events put on by other organizations. You can talk about how nostalgic Sean Kingston makes you feel or even plan to bring home free swag from the IM-Rec Fest if they need time to wind down.  

9. Do you have any plans to rush Greek life?

Rushing Greek life during the spring semester can be a really time-consuming and stressful process. I have known many pairs of roommates who both rush, which can make the process feel less scary and prevents you from tackling it alone. Even if you don’t care if your roommate also rushes, this question can help you understand how each of you sees yourself spending time out of class. 

10. What are you looking forward to most at college?

This is an important question to ask in order to be on the same page about what your goals are for your short four years here at the University. Sharing your hopes with each other is not only a great way to bond, but it’s also an opportunity to be supportive and help each other reach your goals later on down the road. Just make sure to dream big — life at college is full of possibilities.

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