Here are some things you may want to consider discussing with your roommate(s), regarding the use of your room environment.
How will you communicate with each other when there is a problem? What do you feel comfortable or not comfortable talking about?
- Arranging the Room
It is important to arrange and decorate your room when you have both arrived so that each of you has some ownership in your environment. If you want to rearrange your room in the future, be sure to talk to each other first. When decorating (i.e. on your walls and outside on your door), please be considerate of each other and make sure that you are both comfortable with the posters, pictures, etc. that you display.
- Chores and Cleanliness
Discuss expectations for room cleanliness. Knowing each other’s habits can help alleviate stress later. Do you prefer a clean room or are you likely to leave items lying around? How clean does your room need to be? How often should you clean – on a daily basis, or when there are visitors? How will you share responsibilities?
- Sleeping/Alarm Clock
Where will your alarm(s) be placed? What about the snooze button? What happens if someone is sleeping through the alarm? How much sleep do you need nightly? How will your class schedules affect your sleeping habits? What time do you go to bed? What time do you need to get up? How will you work through differences in sleeping patterns? Will you use a fan or keep windows open?
During what hours will the TV be used, and at what volume?
What do you each define as noise, and what is too loud and what is not? What environment do you need for sleeping and studying in the room? At what times should noise be minimized? What activities will take priority in the room when there is a conflict? When do you plan on scheduling study time, and how much time? Will you take breaks? What are your class schedules like?
- Sharing Food
Will you buy groceries together or individually? If you have food in the room, can roommates borrow food from each other? If so, how soon should it be replaced or paid for?
- Personal Belongings
Will you share or borrow any personal items? Which items cannot be used by anyone other than the owner? Set clear expectations for the use of these items: Is permission is required to use them? Is maintenance is required? If you purchase items together, how will you split the bill, and who will own them at the end of the year? If you do share some belongings, make sure they are accessible to all roommates and are not hidden or locked away.
How do you feel about privacy? How are your needs different?
You share a mailbox, so what are you going to do with your roommate’s mail when you pick up yours? Will you leave it in the box or bring it up to the room? Where in the room will mail be placed?