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Are You Compatible? (Roommate Edition)

As summer draws near, some of us may need to reconsider our housing situation, whether it’s due to bad roommates or due to moving post-graduation. Whatever the reason, finding a new roommate can be difficult, especially if you don’t know which factors you should be considering or inquiring about. Just because someone has the same price range and will sign a lease for the same amount of time as you does not mean that they will make a good roommate for you. Here are some things to consider when searching for a potential roommate to ensure compatibility:

What does their day-to-day schedule look like?

This includes what time they typically wake up or go to bed. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it can certainly be challenging if one of you keeps waking the other up when they are coming home or leaving for work. This also may help you determine how often you see your roommate. They may have work or classes on a completely different schedule than you; this can work to your advantage or disadvantage depending on what you are looking for, so it’s important to be on the same page! 

What are their cleaning habits?

Believe it or not, the definition of “clean” can vary from person to person. You could also ask about what chores they don’t mind and which ones that they loathe in order to establish a partnership to keep your home clean. On the other hand, they may be someone who would rather only clean up their own messes. Whatever the decision, it’s important to discuss at the least. It’s not a matter of finding out if someone is a slob or a neat freak, but rather to find someone who is on the same page as you regarding cleanliness. This can help prevent many fights in the future. 

What is their social life like?

Do they like to host their friends often? Do they come back in the middle of the night after a night of partying? Do they drink or smoke? Do they have a romantic partner that you may be frequently seeing? These are all questions that can help you know what to expect when living with them. This would also be an opportunity to discuss boundaries and see how cooperative they would be. For instance, if they like to go out frequently, but your schedule requires you to wake up early in the morning, you may not be very compatible as roommates. 

What are some of your pet peeves?

We all have flaws, and that’s no secret. However, people have different things that can set them off. It’s important to discuss these because they may just be regular habits for the other person. The two of you may be living in very close quarters, and it’s better to know upfront what sorts of things they may not be tolerant of. 

What do they want in a roommate?

This seems a little ridiculous, but it allows you to ensure you two are on the same page. Additionally, they may mention or ask about things that you had not previously considered! This question could also allow them the type of roommate relationship that they are looking for. Maybe all they really want is a housemate, while you are looking for someone that you could hang out with in your free time. 

At the end of the day, finding someone with whom you are compatible to live with can be a challenging task. It takes time and patience. It’s important to have an understanding of what you are looking for before you actually start your search. Despite these five factors to consider, there is so much more to discuss with a potential roommate; I hope this gave you a place to start, at least. 

Maya is a 4th Year Medical Student at UMKC. Even though she is working towards a very STEM orientated major, Maya enjoys using writing as a creative outlet. When Maya isn't studying, she enjoys writing (duh), soccer, music, and shopping.
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