You are here

Getting to Know Each Other

Your roommate may not be a mirror image of yourself, but remember that roommates do not have to be best friends—it’s totally okay and normal to not be. It is not necessary to share every aspect of college living together. In fact, learning to tolerate each other’s differences, without infringing on one another’s freedoms can be a valuable part of your education.

Good intentions do not always lead to good relationships, but how do you sit down with someone you have known for years or with someone you have just met and attempt to discuss the expectations for the variety of situations that arise when you live together? This web page was designed to ease the getting acquainted process as roommates. Although some of the questions may seem trivial at first, explore the answers with each other honestly and avoid the temptation to gloss over the differences.

You are encouraged to sit down with your prospective roommate and talk over a number of topics. Hopefully you can find out enough about each other to set a pattern of communicating and work together to address common concerns. These “talking points” are designed to be used with the Roommate Contract.

Introducing Myself: The Basics

Though you may have talked about the basics, it is best to start at the very beginning, so take the initiative and jump in! Tell about yourself here before launching into all the other questions:

  • My full name...
  • Where my hometown is...
  • What my high school was like...
  • How many brothers and sisters I have - their names and ages...
  • What kind of neighborhood I grew up in (city, suburb, farm, etc.)...
  • How old I am and when my birthday is...
  • What I am majoring in...
  • Why I came to Texas A&M...

Preferences and Habits
Now that you know the basics about each other, move into some of the more serious areas. One person should answer every question in this section and then give the other a chance to ask for clarification. Next, the other person should answer every question in this section.

    When I like to sleep and how many hours I need
    What I have in the way of friends here
    How important it is for things to be neat and clean
    How I feel about my possessions - like what is okay for you to borrow or use and what things I prefer not to have others touch
    The grades I hope to earn this year and how important that is to me
    What my study habits probably will be like this term
    some habits of mine that it might be important for you to know about
    What I like to spend money on when I have some
    What my health is like most of the time and what I like to do for exercise
    How I feel about living away from home
    How I feel about having guests over to our home
    How I feel about Aggie traditions
    What kinds of extra curricular activities I want to get involved in

About my emotional style

If you realize that you’ve been skipping questions or joking around, think about why. Make an effort to remain sincere and honest, and continue on. The purpose of these questions is to help you learn some of your similarities and differences; do not be afraid to note some differences among yourselves—this is what makes us individuals.

    Something that is likely to annoy me...
    Something that will cheer me up when I'm down...
    Something that can get me tense and uptight...
    Times when I would prefer to be left alone...
    How I feel about conflict (it might be helpful to think of past situation you have been in and how you have resolved them)...

About My Personal Values

When you are sharing reactions in this section, make an effort to be specific—mention particular behaviors and be open and honest. Later, while you’re living together, if your values begin to change, remember this handout. Try talking out the issues again using your communication skills of listening and being specific, up front, truthful, and considerate.

    How do I feel about drugs and drinking...
    Which aspects of my social life are important to me...
    What my religious values are...
    What other people seem to think are some important traits of mine (like parents or friends)...
    What it is like for me to go out and make friends...
    Things I feel roommates should do together - include activities such as: cleaning, grocery shopping, eating, campus activities, etc...
    How I feel about overnight guests in our home...
    What I want to do with my freedom away from home...

Conclusion

In conclusion, you should talk over the following topics to discover your points of agreement.

    Something I like about you is...
    It appears to me that an important similarity between us is...
    I think an important difference between us is...
    I think we might have to compromise on...

House Rules

Now that you have discussed your personal values with your roommate, begin to establish “house rules” and write them down here. Doing this final process will help you solve problems later.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Use this with the Roommate Contract and post it in a good place. Good Luck!