Ten Necessary Topics For New Roommate Discussion

graduation student and groupFirst time freshman or learned senior, these issues must be spoken about within the first week of living with a new roommate. Communicating about these problems early on will pave the way for a less stressful semester.

1. Pet Peeves
Everyone has something that will always annoy them. Whether it pertains to noises, actions or items it is important to know your roommate’s pet peeves. Laying bare these odd facts about one another in the beginning will makes things run smoothly.

2. Cleaning Habits
If arguing over dishes was a collegiate credit, everyone with a roommate would earn an A. Lay out who needs to clean what and when it needs to be done by. Write it down in a roommate contract and have everyone sign it. This is not overkill, it will save frustration later on.

3. Shower Time
This one appears to be more gender specific. Most of the time boys will not complain about the shower, but girls will. Five girls sharing one shower means that some of them will not able to primp for two hours in the morning. Set a shower schedule and stick to it.

4. Midnight Oil
Some students love to burn the midnight oil, while others value sleep very much. Discussing a lights out, or dimmed, hour will insure everyone is happy and properly rested.

5. Study Habits
You could be a library person, while your roommate stays home. If that is the case, wonderful! However, it will be problematic if you like listening to opera and studying in your bed during death metal science time. Be sure to communicate clearly when you need the room to be quiet.

6. Sleepovers
If this issue is not raised in the first couple days of living together, there will be a problem later on down the road. Who is allowed to sleep over and when are they allowed to do it. Discuss gender, amount of people at one time and how long they can stay.

7. Sharing
Generosity is not a universal trait. Some people are completely ok with sharing everything. Sometimes asking once means permission forever, other times its just that one time. Be sure to lay this ground rule early on to keep everyone happy.

8. Décor
Decorating a dorm room is not as difficult as decorating an apartment or suite because there is no common space. In a dorm room, your side is yours to do with as you wish. In a living situation that involves common areas, décor should be worked out together. The living room, bathroom and kitchen areas belong to everyone and someone might not like it if you drape the entire apartment in pink.

9. Privacy
A roommate’s side of the room is always off limits, even to your friends, unless you have specifically talked about it. Respect the privacy of your roommate. You both will need some time alone eventually. Be up front early on about your own privacy needs and ask about theirs.

10. Furniture
Most dormitories do not allow bulky outside furniture, most even provide rented microwaves and refrigerators. Talk about these things with your roommate first so you do not end up with double everything. Apartments and suites often split the cost of a second hand couch, whatever works for you and your roommate.

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