How To Get To Know Your Roommate Before Moving In Together

By Danielle Wirsansky

Often enough during college, students are randomly assigned roommates. This happens both in dorms and in student housing in big college towns. In cities without a big population of student renters, properties tend not to offer random roommates or allow you to rent only a single room in an apartment. But in big college towns, apartment complexes often will help you find a roommate match by randomly assigning one to you. No matter where a college student lives, they are bound to experience being assigned a random roommate and having to face the prospect of sharing a living space with someone that they do not know.

Living with someone that you do not know very well can be a daunting prospect. How do you share a space with someone you have never met and feel comfortable and safe while doing so? Obviously, the answer is to get to know your roommate before you have to move in together. But that is much easier said than done. Just how exactly can you go about doing that? Read on for some strategies on how to get to know your roommate before moving in together!

Roommate Tips: How To Get To Know Your Roommate Before Moving In Together
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Connect on Social Media

A great way of getting to know your future roommate is to connect on social media. Seeing the content they post, the way that they interact with others, and what they are interested in will be much easier. Are they big partiers? Are they bookworms? Are they the kind of person who has lots of people over to hang out or do they prefer to keep to themselves? Do they have pets, and if so, will those pets be moving in with you too? Are they 420 friendly or opposed and how does that align with your views?

This is not to say that everything you see on social media is exactly what you will get when you move in together. It is important to note that social media only really shows what people want their followers to see and is a specifically curated collection of content from their lives. Social media does not always depict real life.

On another note, not everyone has social media, or might not be present on every social media platform. Rather than stalking them on the web, ask them for their social media handles so that they can give you the ones that they feel comfortable sharing. That way, it is less invasive and you are not just showing up and spying on them on social media platforms that they might not feel comfortable to share with you yet.

Set up a Face to Face

Another strategy to help you get to know your roommate over the summer is to set up a face to face. A video chat or zoom call can go a long way towards helping you two get to know each other. Just texting or emailing with each other can be sort of impersonal and it is also very easy to misinterpret tone over text. Things can be much easier to discuss and understand when spoken out verbally.

You might just make a phone call, but the added visual element of seeing your future roommate can also be really helpful in getting to know each other. First of all, knowing what your roommate looks like is very helpful in making you feel comfortable and safe sharing a space with them. Second, seeing their face while they talk can help you get to know them. What are their speech patterns? Do they speak in winding sentences that are hard to follow or do they speak briefly and brusquely, and what does that say about them?

When you can see a person’s face while they are talking, it can also be really helpful to get to know them. Are they pausing while speaking because they are thinking carefully about your question and what they want to say in response, or are they looking down, at their, unengaged? Speaking face to face can really help you to see clearly what kind of person your roommate might be.

Discuss Expectations

Finally, another way you can get to know your roommate over the summer before moving in is to discuss your expectations for the time you will be living together. What do you expect from your roommate and what do they expect from you? Can you agree on ground rules for the space and see eye to eye on how things should be done? This can be from how many people can come over and when, if advance notice for guests must be given, how you plan to divide up chores and expenses, and more.

This will help iron out issues before you move in, or show you that you are incompatible with a roommate before you even move in, allowing you to take other measures to avoid being put in a difficult position.

These are just a few ways you can try to get to know your roommate better before you move in together. Make sure you take steps to feel comfortable and safe in your own space and to double check that you and your roommate will be able to coexist, if not get completely along.

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