Things to Discuss with Your Freshman Roommate Before College Starts

Whether you’re excited to have a freshman roommate or you’re dreading it, there are a few things you two (or three) should go over before the school year starts. Here are some handy discussion topics:

Get to Know Each Other

An email, text, or social media message describing a bit about yourself can help break the ice, and help you find things in common with your roommate. You can go over your major, dream career, hobbies, interests, a nickname you go by, etc. It doesn’t have to be a whole essay about yourself, but just a few talking points are nice to have for either party.

Contact Info

Most colleges will share your roommate’s college email with you so the two (or three) of you can get into contact. It’s helpful to send them an email and also give them your phone number, so you can connect more easily or find each other on move-in day.

Who’s Bringing What?

Perhaps the most important thing to discuss is who’s bringing what to the dorm room. You won’t have a lot of room, and you definitely don’t need two mini-fridges or two futons. Instead, decide who will bring certain items to the room, and try to keep it even.

Decoration Ideas

Decorating your living space can be a great roommate bonding experience, but sometimes style preferences clash. It can be nice to go over any ideas with your roommate before hauling a ton of posters, lights, rugs, curtains, etc. all the way out to your college.

Allergies / Health Concerns

Another important detail to cover is health concerns. Many students bring snacks and food during move-in day, so if you’ve got a serious peanut allergy, for example, it’s important to let your roommate know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.

Ground Rules

While you’ll go over a “roommate contract” with your RA sometime during the first week, it can be nice to establish some rules ahead of time. Things like quiet hours, food / supply sharing policies, temperature preferences, and the frequency of having friends over are all good topics to cover.

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Allison Wignall

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