Take the initiative! It is always a smart idea to become acquainted with your roommate(s) so as to provide an open and honest environment. This means being comfortable enough with your roommate(s) to be assertive about your needs, as well as respecting theirs. When you appreciate and understand each other’s needs (which includes an understanding of backgrounds, attitudes, habits, and moods), you will be ready to talk about roommate expectations.
This process involves actively talking and listening to each other. As hard as it can be, listening is very important... and, the listener is just as responsible for communicating as the speaker is. Just as you want to be understood and appreciated, it is your responsibility to listen and clarify certain points. This way you can understand and appreciate your roommates’ needs just as they do yours. Understanding what you both expect early on can minimize or eliminate problems later.
Spend some quality time together, especially within the first few days of living together. Invite your roommate(s) out to dinner, introduce them to your friends, and ask questions. Discuss “house rules” up front. And don’t forget … for every question you ask your roommate(s), be sure to share things about yourself as well!
Good Questions to Help You Get to Know Each Other:
- What name do you like to go by?
- Where are you from?
- Where else have you lived?
- How old are you?
- When is your birthday?
- Why did you come to Biola?
- What are you interested in majoring in? What are you majoring in?
- What jobs have you held/where have you worked?
- What are your favorite things to do?
- What kind of activities were you involved in during high school/at your other college/university?
- What TV shows or movies do you like to watch?
- What genre of books do you enjoy reading?
- Tell me about your family. Do you have any siblings? (How many/how old?)
- What type of music do you like to listen to?
- Do you play sports? Do you like to watch sports?
- Do you exercise? What do you like to do/regimen? How often? Do you like company?
- How do you feel about living away from home?
- Are you a morning person or a night owl?
- Do you prefer a quiet living environment or is some noise and interaction okay?
- What kinds of activities are you or do you want to get involved with on campus?
- Tell me about your friends.
- Tell about your relationship with God.
- How is your lifestyle directed by your beliefs in God?
Learning to Live Together
- What time do you prefer to go to bed?
- When do you prefer to be awake?
- How important is it for things to be neat and clean?
- What are your feelings on sharing things (food, electronics, etc.)?
- What are your study habits?
- How do you feel about having guests over?
- How do you handle conflict?
And of course...
Relationships are not built purely on conversation! Sometimes you may just need to have some fun together. Make some memories!
Go on an afternoon roadtrip... grab some froyo. Catch a movie! Explore Downtown Disney...
You'll be surprised what a little adventure can do!