Hey, incoming freshmen. I know that the number one thing you’re nervous about this summer is whether or not you’re going to get along with your new potential roommate this fall. I’ve been there — the thought of being thrust into a 10-by-15-foot living situation with a total stranger for a year can be super daunting.
Whether you decide to go in blind or room with someone from orientation, a roommate questionnaire saves you from stress.
When I found out my roommate’s name, I immediately found and stalked her on social media, and we messaged back and forth a few times over the summer but never Skyped or talked on the phone. I walked into my room knowing only that. We ended up having the exact same bedding from Bed Bath & Beyond. We had both gone to all-girls high schools, both have one sibling, and we even discovered that we used the exact same shampoo and deodorant.
From left to right: me and my roomie on our first day; me and my roomie now:
It’s been three years and we’ve lived with each other or at least in the same suite since we met. I know that this is not everyone’s story, but I hope it’ll help reassure you. The bottom line is that it’s good to know in advance just how compatible the two of you are, and remember that if your college roommate is REALLY terrible (as in steals-from-your-wallet terrible, not eats-your-Oreos-sometimes terrible), most schools are willing to help you change roommates.
When it comes to this roommate questionnaire, remember: honesty really is the best policy. Know yourself and your habits, and just tell the truth. If your friends and family always comment on how absolutely vile your bedroom is, don’t be selfish and say that you’re “slightly disorganized.” It’s not fair to your new roommate, who really maybe just “slightly disorganized,” just like it wouldn’t be fair to you if a smoker checked off “non-smoker” and you ended up with them. Know your deal-breakers though, don’t compromise on things you can’t stand.
Okay, here’s the quiz. Send it over to your future roommate and compare your answers.
1. What time do you go to bed on weeknights?
2. Okay, what time do you really go to bed?
3. How often do you pull all-nighters?
4. Where do you typically do homework?
5. Do you smoke?
6. Do you smoke when you’re drunk? Tell the truth…
7. Do you usually tend to have friends/romantic interests back to you room, or do you go to their room?
8. Are you in/do you anticipate being in a long-distance relationship that may entail hours of Skyping, excessive drama and weekend-long visits with lots of sexiling of your roommate? This question is very important!
9. How would you describe your room?
10. What are you hoping for in a roommate?
Everything You Should Ask Your Roommates Before You Move Into An Apartment Together
1. What time do you wake up in the morning?
a. 5 a.m. to start the grind early!
b. 9 a.m. on most days to make it to class
c. 1 p.m., I’m an online student
You might not think living with an early riser would be a problem, but when it’s 5:30 a.m. and you hear the shuffling of pots and pans through your door, you could find yourself getting just a little bit annoyed. “I hate when I can hear my roommates through the wall at 7 a.m. when I don’t wake up until 10,” University of Florida sophomore Ariana Rios said. Fix the problem before it even starts by setting boundaries for making noise. Maybe you come to the agreement that 8 a.m. is the best time to start the grind on weekdays, but weekends should stick to a later 10 a.m. so you each get your beauty sleep.
11. How often do you plan on having friends over?
a. Never. I consider myself a loner.
b. Sometimes, when we have a project or the Bachelor is on
c. Every single day, I want my living room to be the regular pre-game spot
Obviously, when all of your roommates are paying the same amount of rent, you can’t ban someone from having people over. On the other hand, you need to respect that this is home for all of you, where people sleep and study. Multiple noisy nights in a row can definitely lead to some passive-aggressive silence when you empty the dishwasher together the next morning.
12. “What’s your zodiac sign?” University of Florida sophomore Holly Stralka said.
a. Fire, I’m always energetic and not afraid of some confrontation.
b. Earth, I’m a pretty grounded person and usually the mediator in arguments.
c. Water, I don’t like being called out. I will start to cry.
d. Air, I’ll probably vent about our issues to the other roommates but avoid saying it to your face.
Personalities do matter when signing a lease. This is the space where you all live, and eventually, tensions rise. People handle situations in different ways, and sometimes your style of confrontation doesn’t mesh well. Figure this out from the beginning so you learn how to be more sensitive to your friends when you need to get something off your chest.
13. How clean do you consider yourself?
a. Just call me Monica Geller.
b. I’m like Jake Peralta. I just have one (now) gray towel.
When sharing a living space, set boundaries on move-in day regarding how you feel about messiness. Come to a consensus on if a chore chart should be required or not. It seems childish to resort to those measures, but it is necessary. No one wants to pick up a pizza box to find a cockroach under it. “I feel like the most important thing is how clean they are,” SUNY Stony Brook sophomore Alaina Johnson said. “Some people are okay with living in filth and I mean it’s fine, I just don’t like rotting salami in my dorm.” Avert the crisis ASAP by discussing your expectations.
14. How loud are you?
a. Is blasting Ariana Grande on my Alexa at 2 a.m. loud?
b. I rarely leave my bedroom.
Decide if you want to share a house with people who live to party or who won’t let you shower at night because the water is too loud. “My roommate is a ghost and I love him,” SUNY Stony Brook junior Joseph Mauro said. “He snores but so quietly. It sounds like a cool spring breeze.” At the end of the day, you and your roommates might not have the exact same living styles. Just respect each other and each other’s property. Plain and simple.
Avoid those bad roommate horror stories by utilizing this college roommate questionnaire. You might just end up with the perfect roommate.
Updated to include “Everything You Should Ask Your Roommates Before You Move Into An Apartment Together” by Kimberly Hurd on 2/26/20.