Ways to Get to Know your Future Roommate

two students in a residence hall room studying at a table in front of a window

Getting a new roommate can be nerve-wracking – whether you know your roommate in advance or not! Take it from us, no matter how much you think you’ll love sharing a cube with your bestie – you’re bound to learn new things about them; some you’ll love, some…not so much.

The key to success is getting it all out in the open from the start.  We asked our campus partners for some advice on how best to get to know your future roomie – including everything from what their story is to if they like to stay up late.

And remember – you don’t have to be best friends with your future roommate (in fact, many of us aren’t); but you do have to live with them, so why not put yourself out there and plan for a great semester. 🙂

How to Meet Digitally

When you get your Housing Assignment, you’ll find out your future roommate’s NetID. Send them an email at <insert NetID here>@uvm.edu to get the ball rolling.  Here’s a few ways you should introduce yourself:

  • Send them an e-mail to their UVM E-mail account and say ‘Hey!’.
  • Look them up on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat and send a message/DM.
  • Download and use Microsoft Teams – Log-in with your UVM NetID and password and you can search their name in the search bar. Everyone with a UVM netID can be reached on Teams! You can chat via text or do a video call on this service.

Here’s what’s not to do:

  • Don’t google them. It’s tempting – but you never know if who you’ll find will be your actual roommate and it might add to your anxiety.
  • Don’t freak out when they’re not on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Discord. You probably aren’t living with a weirdo.  Remember – not everyone is ‘plugged in’ and not everyone uses their legal or preferred name on social media!
  • Don’t get offended out when they don’t respond.  It’s easy to miss a message or email.  Silence doesn’t mean your future roommate hates you – it’s more probable they just missed your message. Take a deep breath and wait it out.

Things You Can Do Together

So you’ve made first contact. Congrats. You’re in. What now?

  • Set-up a time to video chat on the platform of your choosing.  Or talk on the phone (what?!). Texting and DMing is great – but you won’t get to really know someone until you put in some facetime. Literally.
  • Make a joint playlist to get to know each other’s vibe. Ya’ll can jam out to it together when you move into your room.
  • Exchange gamertags and /or friend codes to connect over your favorite videogame. Pro Tip: You can add your gamertag to our gamer form and connect with other catamounts in our gamer directory.
  • Real friendships are forged by visiting each other’s Animal Crossing islands. Just sayin’. 🤷🏽
  • Take a digital field trip. We made this blogpost for when you miss your digital homies, but it’s also applicable to new roommates too. The Gaming Guild also plays multiple times a week.
  • Break from the 1’s and 0’s that make up our lives by exchanging physical addresses so you can send each other some snail mail.  Who doesn’t love to get a postcard now and then?!
  • Brainstorm an epic name for your soon-to-be-shared room.  Something cooler than ‘Super Cool Awesome Dorm Room’ and not as cool as ‘the Cat Cave’ (sorry, it’s taken).

What to Talk about? 

You’ll need stuff to talk about while you’re doing all of these things.  If you’re anything like us…sometimes small-talk is hard.  Here’s a few q’s to get you started.

Here’s some basic questions that might be fun to ask as you’re getting to know someone:

  • “Where are you right now?”
  • “What are some cool things about where you live?”
  • “How would your friends describe your personality?”
  • “Why’d you choose UVM? Did you get a chance to visit before the pandemic?”
  • “What’s the most adventurous or scariest thing you’ve done?”
  • “What’s your Major? What made you choose that?”
  • “What’s your myers briggs type?” (Take an online quiz to find out yours)
  • “If you had a build a house out of food, what food would you use and why?”
  • “How do you like to spend your weekends/ free time?”
  • “How does COVID make you feel? What are your thoughts on the pandemic?”
  • “Any classes this semester you’re especially excited about?”
  • “If you had to quarantine in one place for the rest of your life, where would that be and why?”
  • “How do you take care of yourself when you’re stressed?”
  • “What is one thing that you have missed the most during COVID times?”
  • “When you are not behind a computer screen what do you like to do?”
  • “Any weird talents?”
  • “Cake or pie? And why is your answer cake?”
  • “What’s one thing you SUPER geek out about?”
  • “Any clubs you’re excited to join at UVM?”
  • “What are you most nervous about coming to college?”
  • “What’s on your bucket list?”
  • “Do you have a Favorite TV show? Movie? Book?”
  • “Cats or Dogs?”
  • “How much social interaction is too much for you?”
  • “What song makes you unconditionally happy?”

Living & Planning Questions
Once you’ve broken the ice, it might be helpful to move into planning mode. You’ll be living together in no time, so here are some great things to do (or talk about) so you both can prepare and coordinate your shared space:

  • Compare your daily schedules and get to know what each other’s habits are. This will also help you plan for when you can get some time to yourself.
  • Make two lists – one of items you might want to have just one of in your room, and one of items you’ll be ok to share (example: water kettle Mini fridge).
  • “Do you want to bring a fridge or microwave or should I…or neither?”
  • Are there any things you would prefer the other doesn’t bring (or vice versa)?
  • “Are you clean or messy? How could we meet in the middle on neatness?”
  • “Are you a night owl or early bird? Are you a heavy or light sleeper?”
  • “Do you want to bunk the beds? If so – top or bottom bunk?”
  • “Do you want to share food or not?”
  • “What things do you feel comfortable sharing? What things are off limits?”
  • “How can we communicate when we need some space and time to ourselves?”
  • “How can we communicate when we are eager to connect?”
  • “Should we do a roommate contract agreement? How should we ensure that boundaries are not crossed?”
  • “Are you clean or messy? On a scale of 1-10? (10 being extremely clean), where do you land?”
  • “Should we come up with a plan about who cleans what and when?”
  • “Do you have a color theme or aesthetic for your decor? Want to coordinate?”
  • “How do you study best – and how can we ensure we’re both able to do that best in a shared space?”
  • “What is one thing you think is important for me to know about you?”
  • “How would I know if you are having a bad day? Do you like to talk about those things or process them on your own? When do you need some space?”
  • “What’s your comfort with noise level? Do you like music when you study?”
  • “Do you like new people in your space?”
  • “Do you like to fall asleep to Netflix/Hulu/Disney+,etc?”
  • “Do you have any allergies?”
  • “What temperature do you like the room to be?”

Going Deep
If you’ve hit it off and you’re on the fast-track to “Best Friendsville”, you might consider asking some deeper, more thoughtful questions. You might even circle back around to these after you’ve lived together for a big.  Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Have you ever changed your mind about something you were once sure about?
  • What’s the most meaningful things someone has ever said to you?
  • What scares you most in life? What brings you the most joy?
  • What does a perfect day look like to you?
  • What’s your fondest childhood memory?
  • What do you like but are kind of secretly embarrassed to admit?
  • What’s one thing you would never change about yourself? What’s one thing you hope to change one day?
  • What’s a friendship dealbreaker to you?
  • What’s something most people misunderstand about you?
  • What do you think about when you’re by yourself?
  • What’s one thing that bothers you most about the world today?
  • What’s something that makes you hopeful for the future?
  • Are you hoping to reinvent yourself in college – or do you think you are who you hope to be?