What questions should you ask a potential college roommate?
These are 30+ important questions to ask your potential roommate before you commit to living together.
Finding a roommate in college can be challenging, especially if you are looking for a roommate to live with in your freshman dorm since you’ll be sharing a tiny room together for the next year.
It’s possible to have a random roommate assignment in college, or you can request a roommate.
Many incoming freshmen students join a Facebook group or group chat for their class where they can chat with potential roommates who will be attending the same school in the fall.
This is a great way to meet people before you head off to college, and to find a roommate so you don’t have to test your luck with a random roommate assignment.
Even if you already have someone you plan on living with (like a friend from high school or a friend-of-a-friend who will be attending the same college as you), it’s a good idea to ask these questions before you commit to living together.
These questions are designed to help you get to know your roommate and determine if you will be a good fit living together.
I was lucky enough to get along with my freshman roommate, and we even ended up living with each other in an on-campus apartment the following year!
But I’ve also heard plenty of roommate horror stories. And honestly, a lot of them could have been avoided if better communication had been in place.
And that starts from the very beginning! So here are the most important questions to ask your potential college roommate before you commit to living together:
Questions to Ask A Potential College Roommate
1. Where are you from?
This is one of those basic getting-to-know-you questions you’ll definitely want to ask.
2. What is your major?
It can be helpful to know your potential roommate’s major. Maybe it’s the same as yours and you’ll be able to study together.
3. What does your class schedule look like?
Do they have lots of early-morning classes? Or more classes in the evenings? How heavy is their course load? Are there certain days of the week they don’t have classes?
4. Are you joining any clubs or extra-curricular activities?
Do they play any sports? Will they be joining on-campus clubs and organizations? This is something else that’s good to know!
5. Will you be working?
If so, what is their work schedule like?
6. Have you ever lived with anyone before?
This is a good question to ask to get an idea of whether your potential roommate has any experience living with someone before. Maybe they shared a room with a sibling growing up.
Or maybe they had their own room, or they are an only child. One answer isn’t necessarily better than another, but this is still good to know.
7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
This is something that’s very important to know. If you and your roommate both have the same habits and preferences, it can make life a whole lot easier.
8. How do you feel about having guests over?
It’s very important to agree on a guest policy with your roommate before you start living together.
Having guests over occasionally is to be expected, but you can set boundaries like a maximum duration that guests can stay, or where exactly they will sleep.
9. Are you planning on joining Greek life?
If Greek life is big at your school, this is a great question to ask.
10. What are your study habits like?
Do they plan to study in the dorm room? Or go to the library? Do they mainly study in the morning, afternoon, evening, or late at night?
11. What time do you usually wake up and go to bed?
Keep in mind that this is something that can change in college since you’ll have a totally different schedule, but it’s still good information to know.
12. How much of a clean freak are you?
This is another thing that’s SUPER important to discuss before you commit to living with somebody. Cleanliness (or lack thereof) can lead to major roommate disputes.
Set expectations and communicate about cleanliness right away.
13. Do you plan to go home a lot on holidays and weekends?
It’s helpful to know if your potential roommate plans to go home or visit friends on holidays and weekends, or if they will stay on campus most of the time.
14. Do you sleep in complete darkness or with some light?
This is something that is good to know in advance since you and your roommate will likely be sharing one dorm room freshman year.
15. Do you sleep with TV, podcasts, or music on?
Yet another important question to ask since you’ll be sharing a sleeping space. Does your roommate fall asleep with background noise, or do they prefer silence?
16. Do you like to drink and go out a lot?
It’s a good idea to find out if you and your potential roommate are on the same page when it comes to drinking, going out, and partying.
17. Are you bring a car to campus?
Good to know, and it’s always a plus if your roommate will have a car for grocery or shopping runs!
18. Do you have any ideas about dorm room decor?
You and your potential roommate may want to coordinate on idea for how to decorate your dorm, or maybe you’ll both just do your own thing.
19. Do you want to split the cost on any items?
If you’ll be sharing a dorm room, you and your roommate may want to split the cost of communal items like a futon, a mini-fridge, or a TV.
20. Is there anything you’re already planning to bring?
Maybe your potential roommate already has a futon or an area rug or a floor lamp that they plan to bring to college. It’s a good idea to ask in advance so you can coordinate.
21. Do you have any allergies I should know about?
It’s always good to know in advance if your potential roommate has any allergies, like food allergies (peanut allergies can be severe) or pet allergies.
Most college dorms don’t allow pets anyway, but it’s still good information to ask.
22. Do you know which dorm you want to live in?
If your college allows you to select a preference for which dorm building you want to live in, this is a good question to ask.
Maybe your potential roommate wants to live in a dorm that’s close to their major buildings or another specific area of campus.
23. What’s your favorite movie/TV show/music/book?
These are good getting-to-know-you questions to ask!
24. What are your hobbies?
Another good question to get to know your potential college roommate. Maybe you’ll find out that you have a lot in common.
25. How do you feel about dividing chores?
It’s a good idea to communicate about how chores will be handled in advance. For example, how will you divide chores like taking out the trash, dusting, vacuuming, etc.?
26. What are your pet peeves?
This is something you’re going to find out eventually when you’re sharing a tiny space with each other. So you might as well get it out of the way now!
Share your pet peeves (humming? chewing food loudly?) so you know what to expect.
27. Are you dating anyone?
And if so, do they plan to have their significant other stay over? This ties in to discussing how you feel about having guests over, and what your boundaries are.
28. What temperature do you like to keep in the room?
This may seem like a small thing, but it’s a good question to ask! Do they prefer to have the air conditioning blasting at all times, or keep the room warmer?
29. Do you shower in the morning or at night?
This can be helpful for coordinating schedules, especially if you’ll be sharing a bathroom.
30. What items are you okay with sharing?
It’s important to be on the same page about what items you’ll share with your roommate. Is it fair game to share snacks, clothing, makeup, school supplies, and other items in the dorm room?
Or are you going to keep everything separate? Either way is fine, but just make sure you’re both in agreement about what’s personal and what’s shared.
31. How do you prefer to deal with conflicts?
Come up with a solid plan for dealing with any issues or conflicts that may arise when living together. Discuss how you’ll communicate and resolve any of these potential issues or conflicts.
Questions to Ask Your Future College Roommate
These are the most important questions to ask a potential college roommate before you commit to living together.
It’s important to have these conversations now before you move in together and discover you’re totally incompatible. Communicating well is the key to a successful roommate situation!