Topics To Discuss With Your Roommate and Suite-mates
Hi guys! I am at the point now where I am literally counting down the days till school starts- I’m just so excited! While I know this school year is going to be awesome, there are definitely some possibilities for bumps in the road. One thing I’d like to avoid this year are any misunderstandings or arguments with my roommate and my suite-mates. While I’m not too worried about anything going wrong with my roommate, (I roomed with her last year and have known her for six years) I don’t know who my suite-mates are.
As I was thinking about what we will have to discuss once school starts, I thought it would be a good idea to create a list of important topics to go over so if any of you are in a situation like me, you’ll be prepared! Be sure to have these discussions with both your roommate and your suite-mates so that you can set boundaries and ground rules that will make the rest of your year much easier!
Topics to discuss with your roommate:
What things will you share-
I brought my Keurig from home last year and I was totally fine with my roommate using it. Same with the mini-fridge I got for our room.
What things will you not share-
What we didn’t share was the food that we bought. It was understood that if I bought something specific then it was for me to eat. However, we would share things like popcorn when we made it for Netflix marathons
Who will be bringing certain furniture and appliances-
This year we decided that I would bring my mini fridge and my roommate would bring a microwave. Splitting up buying the things that you need makes it more fair for everyone since you’re probably going to be using everything that is bought. Since she is buying the futon, I’m paying her back for half of it, which is another way you can even the load.
How do you want your dorm to be used-
Do you want your dorm to be party central or your own personal oasis? Or maybe somewhere in between? My roommate and I mainly used our dorm for studying, sleeping, and hanging out with only close friends. We were in the same friend group so it was fine when we had those people over, but we also understood each other’s need for quiet time to relax too.
What times are good for sleeping, studying, etc-
Are you cool with your roommate having al of the lights on while she crams for a test at 2AM? I sure wouldn’t be. My roommate and I worked out a system where if one of us was going to bed, the other would use their small reading light to finish homework. While the other person was studying, we tried to keep to quieter activities or use headphones if we still wanted to be in the room.
Who will be allowed over and at what time-
You’re probably fine with your roommates’ boyfriend coming over during the day once in a while to hang out, but having him there until midnight every night? Yikes. The room is your space too so make sure you speak up about what you are and aren’t comfortable with. And after all, there are plenty of other places to hang out besides your dorm.
What can be done when you are in the room-
If you’re trying to study do you want your roommate to be able to blare her music through the speakers? Yeah, I wouldn’t want that either.
What can be done while you’re sleeping-
This is sort of like the light things I mentioned above. Don’t be afraid to be assertive with this- you deserve to get a good nights sleep.
How often will you clean and what will you clean-
Good ground rules are vacuuming at least once a week or sweeping the floor. Make sure you wipe down hard surfaces with wipes pretty often to get rid of dust and germs. Also, make sure that both of you are pulling your weight- if your roommate isn’t doing her part, you need to speak up.
Topics to discuss with your suite-mates:
What will you share-
Are you ok with your suite mate using your hairspray? Or borrowing some conditioner when she ran out? Is this only ok if she asks first? These are the types of things you’ll need to clarify right off the bat so there are no misunderstandings.
Who will get the cleaning and bathroom products-
Make sure its not just one person buying the toilet cleaner and soap for the whole year- you all need to pitch in. What I’m thinking of doing this year is making a chart with who has bought what so far so we can easily see whose turn it is next.
How long can someone take in the bathroom-
Last year we had the general rule of being allowed to have the bathroom to yourself for 30 minutes, whether that is to shower, or put on makeup, or do your hair. Everyone is going to need to get ready at some point so it’s not fair to have one person take an hour and a half every morning.
What times will you need to use the bathroom to get ready-
I typically shower at night, while my roommate usually showers in the morning. These things are important to discuss along with when your first class is, so that everyone can be ready on time.
Can you play music in the bathroom and at what times-
I don’t know about you, but I love to listen to music in the shower (TBH I have my own little jam session). Most of the time my suite-mates were fine with it as one as I kept it at a reasonable volume. What wasn’t ok was when my suite mate was blasting Beyonce at 11PM when my roommate and I had already gone to sleep. Since you share a wall you’ll need to be courteous of others.
Hopefully this list was helpful! Good luck with your dorm assignments!
What are other topics you think should be discussed with roommates and suite-mates?