Image courtesy of David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Kelly Leslie, Student at San Francisco State University
Do you know who you will be living with next year?
Moving in with a new roommate is exciting, but there are some things you will want to discuss before you do. Check all of these items off of your list and the year ahead of you will be a breeze.
Get to Know Her
It will be less uncomfortable when you move in if you get to know your roommate now. Find her on Facebook and don’t be afraid to chat. Ask her about herself. Where is she from? What are her interests? The more you know about her, the more you will have to talk about when you meet face to face for the first time.
Figure out What You Need to Buy
There are many things you are going to need, depending on where you will be living. You will probably need a microwave, mini refrigerator and a TV if you are going to be living in the dorms. Ask your roommate if she is OK with sharing these items and decide who will be brining what. You will need a lot more if you are living in an apartment or in off-campus housing, and this is a lot for one person to be responsible for on their own. You can even go shopping for some of the things together once you move in, but it is still important to be on the same page.
Bills, Bills, Bills
If you are not living on campus, it is important to remember that bills don’t get paid unless someone pays them. I know from experience that it is overwhelming if you are not able to communicate with your roommate, and it is way too much for one person to try to be responsible for them all. Talk about which utilities you will be sharing and how you are going to pay them each month. Share the responsibility by putting each roommate in charge of at least one bill. Having a bulletin board in a common area is the easiest way to post bills so everyone can see them and to let each roommate know how much money you will need from them. Discussing this with your roommate before you move in will get the conversation going, and it will make it easier for you to communicate throughout the rest of the year.
Figure Out Your Guests Policy
It is important to know how your roommate feels about inviting people over because neither of you want to feel uncomfortable in your own home. Whether it is telling each other when you will be inviting friends over or deciding not to have a party unless you plan it together, make sure you guys have a system. Talk about when it is OK to have guests, who is welcome to stay overnight and how long overnight guests will be welcome to stay. There will always be issues when living with someone you didn’t grow up with, but you will be able to work through them if you are comfortable talking to each other about what is bothering you. Always remember that communication is key and if you can discuss things like rational adults, you will be able to get through anything.