Guide to finding a roommate

We will soon be sending information about selecting a roommate to the first 850 incoming freshmen who submitted their housing deposit.  In the mean time, we encourage you to read the following Guide to Selecting a Roommate:
Welcome to Seton Hall University Housing & Residence Life!  The following information is meant to help you navigate the process of selecting a roommate who will best fit your living habits and expectations.  It provides good rules for being a good roommate and questions to consider when talking to someone about living together.  Please read this over carefully.  Remember, not all best friends make the best roommates, and not all roommates will make the best friends, but with some help from this guide and communication of expectations, your experience living together can be one that is mutually beneficial and smooth sailing!

Overview: Golden Rules to Keep in Mind
Be clear from the beginning.
1. Do you know in advance that you hate it when someone hits the snooze button fifteen times every morning? That you’re a neat freak? That you need ten minutes to yourself before talking to anyone after you wake up? Let your roommate know as soon as you can about your little quirks and preferences. It’s not fair to expect him or her to pick up on them right away, and communicating what you need is one of the best ways to eliminate problems before they become problems
2.     Address things when they’re little.
Is your roommate always forgetting her stuff for the shower, and taking yours? Are your clothes being borrowed faster than you can wash them? Addressing things that bug you while they’re still little can help your roommate be aware of something she may not otherwise know. Addressing little things is much easier than addressing them after they’ve become big.
3.     Respect your roommate’s stuff.
This may seem simple, but it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why roommates experience conflict. Don’t think he’ll mind if you borrow his cleats for a quick soccer game? For all you know, you just stepped over an uncross-able line. Don’t borrow, use, or take anything without getting permission first.
4.     Be careful of who you bring into your room — and how often.
You may love having your study group into your room, but your roommate may not. Be mindful of how often you bring people over. If your roommate studies best in the quiet and you study best in a group, can you alternate who hits the library and who gets the room?
5.     Lock the door and windows.
This may seem like it has nothing to do with roommate relationships, but how would you feel if your roommate’s laptop got stolen during the ten seconds it took you to run down the hall? Or vice-versa? Locking your door and window s is a critical part of keeping safe on campus.
6.     Be friendly, without expecting to be best friends.
Don’t go into your roommate relationship thinking that you are going to be best friends for the time you’re at school. It may happen, but expecting it sets both of you up for trouble. You should be friendly with your roommate but also make sure you have your own social circles.
7.     Be open to new things.
Your roommate may be from someplace you’ve never heard of. They may have a religion or lifestyle that is completely different from your own. Be open to new ideas and experiences, especially as it relates to what your roommate brings into your life. That’s why you went to college in the first place, right?!
8.     Be open to change.
You should expect to learn, grow, and change during your time at school. And the same should happen to your roommate, if all goes well. As the semester progresses, realize things will change for both of you. Be comfortable addressing things that unexpectedly come up, setting new rules, and being flexible to your changing environment.
9.     Address things when they’re big.
You may not have been totally honest with tip #2. Or you may suddenly find yourself with a roommate who goes wild after being shy and quiet the first two months. Either way, if something gets to be a big problem quickly, deal with it as soon as you can.  If you need help, ask your RA, Residence Coordinator, or Residence Hall Director.
10.  If nothing else, follow the Golden Rule.
Treat your roommate like you’d like to be treated. No matter what your relationship is at the end of the year, you can take comfort knowing you acted like an adult and treated your roommate with respect.
Information taken from:  http://collegelife.about.com/od/beforeyouarrive/qt/roommatetips.htm
Good Questions to Ask of Your Potential Roommates
1.                What kind of a relationship do you want in a roommate?

Do everything together
To be friends
To be respectful and peacefully coexist
Residents should recognize whether they are looking for just a roommate or a potential friend in their roommate to better start the relationship. Some students become lifelong friends from being roommates while others just simply live together respectfully. 
 
2.                Which statement best describes you?

 I am a morning person and prefer to live with a morning person.
I am a morning person and can live with a night person.
I am a night person and prefer to live with a night person.
I am a night person but can live with a morning person.
This is to ensure you are living with someone who has similar habits and if they don’t, you’re able to start the conversation of sleeping, studying and social habits.
3.                How would you describe your sleeping habits?Light sleeper
Moderate sleeper
Heavy sleeper
This is to prevent conflict in accordance to study habits, social life. If you accidentally bump into something or drop something in the middle of the night, will that wake your roommate?  Do you snore or do they? It’s important to start this conversation so both roommates are aware of each other’s sleeping patterns.
4.                What time do you prefer to go to bed?

8 pm – 10 pm
10 pm – 12 am
12 am – 2 am
After  2 am
 
Does your potential roommate like to stay up reading all night or are they someone who likes to go to bed right after their favorite TV show?  How does that mesh with your lifestyle habits?
 
5.                What time do you prefer to wake up?

Before 7 am
7 am – 9 am
9am – 11am
I sleep as long as possible
 This can begin conversations on what each morning should look like and accordingly plan bathroom use schedules. 
6.                Do you like to study in your room?

Yes
No
Depends on the noise or time of day
 
Expectations can be set on which times work for both parties to study in the room in accordance to sleeping habits along with brainstorming a back-up location for studying.  
 
7.                Which statement best describes your preference of study environment in your room?

 I prefer a study environment that is very quiet.
I prefer a study environment with some noise (e.g., music, TV, etc.) in the background.
I am able to study regardless of the noise level.
I must have some level of noise in order to study.
 
Some environments work better for others when it comes to studying.  This could be one of the most important questions you ask, as not all people study well in environments with background noise or in a quiet environment.
 
8.                How do you feel about your roommate’s significant other frequently spending time in your room? 

I would usually be comfortable in this situation.
I would usually agree if I didn’t plan to be there.
Only if my roommate asked and I agreed.
I would agree if the significant other was not spending the night.
I would not be comfortable in this situation.
 
While our policies do not allow cohabitation, your roommate may want his or her girlfriend or boyfriend to come over for a movie or study date.  How much is too much? How would you feel being around while they are there?
 
9.                How do you feel about groups of people socializing in your room?This would be fine with me except when I am trying to sleep or study in my room.
This would be fine occasionally.
I would be okay only if I didn’t plan to be there.
I would expect to find privacy in my room most of the time.
 
Guests in the room can impact a roommate’s study/sleeping habits. While we already have existing guest policies, this conversation can also help create an understanding of what’s okay and what’s not.  For example, when your roommate has guests over, can they sit on your bed or only on the chair?  How late can they stay? Do you want them to talk to you or would you prefer to be left alone. 
 
10.           Which statement best describes your standards for the condition of your room? 

I like my room to be clean almost always.
I like my room to be generally neat, but I am willing to put up with a little clutter from time to time.
It does not bother me if my room is cluttered and disorganized.
 
Not everyone is Martha Stewart when it comes to keeping their rooms organized, and that’s okay. Do you mind if your roommate leaves their clothes on the floor or will clutter keep you awake at night? 
 
11.   How would you feel about your roommate borrowing or sharing your personal belongings? 

I would not mind at all.
I would not mind sharing things like TVs, stereos, etc. but would mind sharing personal items like clothing.
I would not mind if I had been asked and had given my permission.
I would not use other people’s things and expect others not to use mine.
 
In younger days we were taught that sharing is caring, but sometimes there’s just some things you don’t want to part with. 
 
12.   In dealing with conflicts: 

 I am able to clearly express my feelings and concerns.
 I will generally express my concerns in a joking fashion so that the other person gets the hint.
 I usually wait until I am really annoyed or angry.
 I am not comfortable asserting myself in conflict.
 
No relationship is absolutely perfect and when you live with someone you may run into issues that need to be addressed.  What’s your and your roommate’s personal style when it comes to addressing things that bother them or managing conflict?
 
13.   Although smoking is prohibited in the Residence Halls, your smoking habits can influence your roommate relationship. Do you smoke?

 Frequently.
Occasionally.
No.
 
Though smoking in the residence hall is forbidden, the smell and smoke can remain on clothing and be brought into the residence hall. Residents should be aware about this prior to living together.
 
14.   Do you object to your roommate smoking?

Yes.
Yes, and I am smoke-sensitive.
No.
 
Similar to the question above, the smell of smoke may negatively affect residents who have breathing related health conditions or residents who have strong feelings about the smell of smoke. To avoid disagreements or potential health concerns, this should be addressed prior to living together.
 
15.   How often do you plan on going home?

Every weekend
Every other weekend
Once a month
Rarely or only during university breaks
Never
 
It’s important to keep communication with your roommate when you will be present in the room and when you won’t be because some people may not like being alone and others may want to plan their guest visitation.
 
 
 
 
The following questions relate to hobbies and interests.  While roommates do not have to be a perfect match in regards to likes and dislikes, it helps to have a common ground to build a relationship on.  Consider discussing these questions as well as others that are important to you.
 
 
Interests
1.    Which music genres are most applicable to you?

Country
Rock
Classical
Folk
Rap
R&B / Hip-Hop
Pop
Oldies
Other
 
2.    How often do you have music or the TV on in your room?

All the time
Most of the time
Sometimes
Rarely
Never
 
3.    What are the top three ways you most enjoy spending extra time:

Arts                              Movies                        Religion

Comm. Service          Music                          Road Trips
Computers                  Outdoors                     Sports
Dancing                       Partying                       Television
Dining                          Photography               Theater
Family                        Reading                       Video Games
 

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