Going off to college is a huge transition. You’ll leave home, make new friends, and learn to live independently. And if you’re planning on living in a dorm, you’ll also be sharing your living space with a complete stranger.
That’s why it’s important to get to know your potential roommates before you move in together. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time together! To help you get to know your future roommates, here are some questions you should ask them.
67 Questions you should ask your potential roommate so you can get to know them better and make sure you’re compatible:
- What’s your full name?
- What are your nicknames?
- What pronouns do you use?
- Where are you from?
- What’s your major/intended major?
- What does your daily routine look like?
- What’s your study schedule like?
- Do you study in your room or elsewhere on campus?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- Are you tidy or messy?
- How do you feel about having visitors in your dorm room?
- What time do you usually go to bed and what time do you get up in the morning?
- Do you like to listen to music or watch TV while you study?
- How do you feel about sharing food and other personal items?
- Have you ever had a roommate before? If so, how did it work out?
- Do you have any allergies or special needs that I should know about?
- What kind of relationship do you hope to have with your roommate?
- Are there any topics that are off-limits for discussion?
- How do you deal with conflict?
- What are your expectations about the noise level in the dorm room?
- Do we always have to wear headphones or can we turn up music once in a while?
- Do you smoke, drink, or use drugs? If so, would you be willing to abstain while living in the dorms?
- What’s your definition of “privacy”?
- What skills or knowledge can you share with me (e.g., cooking, laundry, study tips)?
- What are your sleeping habits? Do you like to go to bed early or stay up late?
- How tidy is your side of the room?
- Do you feel comfortable having parties in the room?
- Can we divide up chores like taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom? If so, how would you like to divide them up?
- Do you have any dietary restrictions?
- What temperature do you want the room to be at night?
- Are religious or cultural customs important to you?
- What clubs or organizations are you interested in joining on campus?
- Do any family members or close friends live nearby that you’d like to visit often (or who might want to visit us)?
- Are pets okay with you?
- Do you need complete darkness or are you okay with a night light?
- Do impromptu study sessions bother you or are they not a problem?
- Are scented candles, oils, or other scented things okay with you, or do they give you a headache?
- Would floor-length curtains satisfy your need for privacy, or would they need to be supplemented with something else (a poster, fabric, etc.)?
- What foods do you like to have in the room/fridge/closets?
- Are there foods that are particular triggers for your allergies/asthma/etc.?
- Are there foods that are heavy on your stomach if you eat them late at night?
- How does your study abroad plans to affect your housing situation next year (or vice versa: how does next year’s housing situation affect your study abroad plans)?
- What kind of cleaning supplies do we need in the room and who’s responsible for making sure we have them on hand?
- Are you involved in any extracurricular activities or organizations on campus?
- How do you feel about sharing a bathroom?
- Are there any items you absolutely cannot live without (e.g., air conditioner, humidifier, fan)?
- Would you feel comfortable talking about sensitive topics such as mental health, religion, politics, etc.?
- How often do you go out during the week or on weekends?
- How do you feel about dating people you met in college?
- How do you feel about relationships and dating while in college?
- What’s your definition of personal space?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you use drugs?
- Will you bring a car to campus?
- How do you feel about having a roommate?
- Would you rather live with someone of the same or opposite sex?
- Are you one of those people who likes to talk things out, or do you prefer to solve problems on your own?
- Do you have any health problems or needs that I should know about (e.g., mental health problems, physical disabilities, chronic illnesses)?
- Are you comfortable with having a roommate who studies/works at different hours than you do?
- What’s your relationship status and how comfortable are you with a roommate who’s in a relationship?
- Do you have any strong political beliefs that might affect our living situation?
- How do you feel about being away from home for extended periods?
- Is there anything else I should know about you so we can get along better?
- Would you like me to send you a picture of myself so we can put a face to the name before we meet in person?
- When would be a good time for a phone call or video chat so we can get to know each other better?
- Would you be willing to sign a roommate agreement outlining our expectations for living together (e.g. quiet times, guests, cleaning)?
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start looking for a college roommate?
When it comes to finding a good college roommate, there’s no set time to begin the search. Some students may prefer to begin their search during their senior year of high school, while others may want to wait until they have already been accepted and decided on a college before looking for potential roommates. The timing of your roommate search will depend on your personal preferences and how much time you want to invest in finding the right person.
What do you do if you don’t like your college roommate?
If you don’t like your college roommate, there are a few things you can do to deal with the situation. It’s important to talk to your roommate directly about the issues that you are having and try to work them out together.
You may also want to ask friends or family members for support who can offer guidance and advice on how to effectively communicate with your roommate.
If you continue to feel uncomfortable or unhappy in your living situation, you can also explore other options, such as talking to a counselor or college staff member about changing rooms or roommates. It’s important to remember that not everyone will always get along, but there are ways to manage any conflicts that arise and maintain a positive living environment.
These questions will help you get the conversation started so you can get to know your potential college roommate better and decide if they would be a good fit for you. Ultimately, living with a stranger can be an exciting experience full of growth and self-discovery -as long as everyone is on the same page from the beginning!
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