Moving into a new place is always an exciting time, especially if you’re going to college and finding an ideal little place to call home during the academic year. However, sometimes one of the first things you need to do for this perfect dream to be complete is to find a roommate that you can get along with. And, the only way to do that is to ask the potential person you selected to share a roof with, the right questions.
This way, you will be able to gauge to some extent if your characters and routines are compatible or if they will clash. This is why, in this article, we will give you a list of questions that you should ask a potential roommate, in this scenario.
By asking these questions, you will get to know them better and determine whether you will be able to get along or if sharing a living space is going to lead to a catastrophic fallout.
What questions to ask a potential roommate?
1. Are you a good organizer?
When we live alone it’s very easy to leave our home in any shape or form, without worrying about it much. But when we have to share the same space with someone else, it becomes essential that we agree with them on cleaning chores and organization.
So, ask about your potential roommate’s organizational skills and habits so you can understand if it would be easy to share chores fairly.
2. At what time do you go to bed and wake up, usually?
It’s normal to expect a good sleeping schedule when you share a roof with a roommate, especially when you are both students. You might have different routines, or even be taking different classes so it’s important to ask about their usual sleeping hours regardless of how their routine changes. Then try to see if they will clash with your usual lifestyle and routine or not.
So with your schedule in mind, ask at what time your potential roommate usually goes to bed and wake-up. If your lifestyles and preferences are opposed to one another, it can be harder to arrange a time for studying hours or simply relax in your room.
To ensure that stays possible, even if you have mismatched schedules, ask if they have a habit of listening to music or watching something without their headphones on. Ask about whether they like to talk on the phone a lot or have silent hobbies they prefer like reading or browsing the internet. If they seem like a noisy person, maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to share a space.
3. Do you take any substances?
While you would like to believe that just like you, your potential roommate’s priority is to study, they may have other things in mind. To avoid regrets in the future, you should ask straight away if they smoke, and if so, what they smoke, if they drink, and if they take other substances.
If the answer is yes, consider setting boundaries so their bad habits stay out of your shared space. Also, if they prove to be highly influenced by what they take, consider discarding them as an option to share a roof with, altogether.
4. Do you plan to invite people over regularly?
Just because you are roommates doesn’t mean that you are going to be included in the same social circles. What is most likely to happen instead is that each one of you will have their own set of colleagues and friends. But, since you are going to be sharing a space, you will have to agree on the days certain people can come over.
If both of you are very social and are used to inviting people over often, you will have to share your time and the space where you live equally. But even if neither one of you is planning on bringing people over that often, you still have to respect each other’s boundaries.
5. Do you cook?
You have probably heard stories of roommates when only one of them cooks and the other takes advantage by eating that food without contributing in any way.
So, if you don’t feel comfortable with sharing what you cook all the time, either because of financial reasons or other reasons then say it from the start. For instance, if you are to prepare meals for the whole week and you plan on cooking the exact amount needed for you alone, ask your potential roommate how they’re planning on organizing their meals.
If they cook, there are fewer chances of problems and you could even divide the days and each one could cook for half the week and share what you prepared. But if the answer is different from this, consider making clear that you would only cook for two if they helped with the expenses and if you had the time or if they cleaned the dishes.
6. What are your boundaries regarding privacy?
Some people are naturally more nosy or socially open than others and this leads to different standards of privacy. Because of this, you need to know what’s their perspective of privacy and if it is compatible with yours.
Even if you conclude that one of you is much more private and reserved than the other, there’s always the option of setting boundaries and confirming that you understand them clearly.
For example, rooms could be off-limits and, if your situation involves sharing a room then you need to establish that only with your authorization can they touch your things.
7. As your roommate, what do you expect of me?
This question is only fair to ask after having asked so many questions yourself. It’s normal to ask a lot of questions when you are looking for a roommate because you still want to be able to relax when you are at home and have the other person respects your boundaries. In the same way, it’s normal for your potential roommate to want to ask questions too, so they can see if you will get along.
To help with that you could make the first move and ask them what they would call an ideal roommate. This will give you a clear idea of what kind of person they are and if you two are compatible.
It can save you a lot of time since you will know immediately if you can compromise on certain aspects to meet their expectations or if you can’t meet them at all. In the end, if they fit your criteria there’s a way to ask if they’d like to be your roommate so make sure you do it properly and not just throw the question at them unexpectedly.
In the end, it’s sometimes better to live alone and avoid roommate drama, but if it’s someone who will help you make amazing college memories and have your back at all times; then why not?