August 5, 2008 12:49 PM
What to say to a roomie-to-be?
So I guess the real questions are: What kind of things should intro messages to new roommate(s) include? And what should be avoided? Is it better to state preferences right up front, even though these may not be well received?
Here is my $0.02.
In a very first message, I would just do a “hello” type thing, like “Hi, new roomie! I’m so excited and I can’t wait to meet you!” I think it would be best to start off by getting to know each other, trying to find common interest and forming a friendly friendship. I would not start rambling off preferences as it could provoke defensiveness and animosity right off the bat.
Once we’re a little more comfortable with talking to each other, I’d start bringing up some real business, like how to split between the expenses of dorm furniture (microwave oven and fridge for the most part). As to the room preference, I would wait till we move in, because during Welcome Week, roommates will be expected to discuss and then fill out a roommate contract thing. And that’s probably the best time to sit down, go over the logistics and work out the details. However, for now, it doesn’t hurt to chat a bit to get a general feeling. For example, people can take turns to ask and answer roomie type question like: what is your typical neat/messy? what is your living pattern? Starting out openly is a very good way to begin, but one has to take it gradually.
And don’t be frustrated if your roommate(s) take a long time to respond. A lot of people are going on vacation around this time, and sometimes people are just unable to access the school email.
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