By now, you’ve moved in, survived Welcome Weekend, and started getting settled in your new home with your new roommates. For most, living in close quarters with peers is a new experience. With new experiences, sometimes come new challenges.
Your RA’s have been training since early August to meet these challenges head-on and help you and your roomies foster the healthiest room environment possible. They are committed to mediating any discontent and encouraging a positive living space. Here are some questions to ask your roommates within the first weeks of living together, as told by your Resident Assistants.
Question to ask your roommate: “How do you really want to live together?”
It’s one thing to sign your roommate agreement and hang it up on your fridge at the beginning of the year, and another to actually talk about how you want your room to function. Along with this, establishing specific boundaries will ensure each roommate has a clear idea of their expectations within the room. Also, reviewing the agreement at semester or midterm is usually a good idea, just to make sure the decisions you made at the beginning of the year are still acceptable.
Question to ask your roommate: “What are your goals for the school year?”
You can tell a lot about a person by what they hope to accomplish in a year. You can learn what motivates your roommates and how to inspire them. Although not all roommates are the best of friends (and that’s totally okay), you will be in close contact with each other for a good chunk of the coming year. Agreeing to build each other up and celebrate each other’s successes will make for a positive and encouraging room environment.
Question to ask your roommate: “How do you recharge?”
It’s important to know how your roommates really recharge and what it means to take time for themselves. Some people just need to be left alone and others work out to relieve stress. No matter how you and your roommates recharge, it’s critical to have a conversation about it before someone runs out of battery. That’s when people snap and bigger issues arise. Knowing how everyone recharges allows each roommate the freedom to do what they need in order to be their best selves.
Question to ask your roommate: “How often should we clean?”
As simple of a concept as “clean” seems to be, most people actually have different definitions. Nailing down a simple set of guidelines to “clean” at the beginning of the year can ensure that your room is always up to everyone’s standards. Sometimes, establishing a schedule is helpful, but some people feel comfortable cleaning on an “as needed” basis. No matter your preference, this is an essential part of any room dynamic.
Question to ask your roommate: “How late is too late to be loud?”
This is something that most incoming freshmen, especially guys, don’t think will be a problem, but it is a question that can make or break a roommate relationship. Not only deciding how late is too late, but also how early is too early. All roommates should be clear on what the appropriate noise level is at any given part of the day. With this established, everyone can do their homework, sleep, or have fun without bothering each other
— Madelyne Arrigoni is a sophomore studying English and Mass Communications. She plans to graduate in 2022.
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