One of the most daunting parts about being a freshman is navigating the world of having a roommate. You’re living in extremely close quarters with someone that you most likely don’t know that well. What if this person is a total freak? What if they think I’m a total freak? Both are legitimate concerns but here are a few tips to help you make the adjustment to your new roommate.
1) Set Up A Call – You will most likely get your roommate’s contact information in the summer before you head to college. Take the time to set up a phone call with this person. It’s a great opportunity for you to discuss the items that you each hope to contribute to the room, i.e. a TV, stereo, lamps etc. Beyond that, this is your chance to start to get to know the person and try to find some common ground.
2) Don’t Be A Bunk Brat – Upon arrival, there is an impulse to just get yourself set up right away, which often first involves setting up your bed. A great way to kick off roommate animosity though is to not discuss who gets which bed.
3) Lunch With The Parentals – Surprisingly, a good way to bond with your roommate is to get to know their family. On move in day, be open to your family and your roomie’s family sitting down to lunch or dinner together. Learning where people come from and getting a deeper understanding of their history is a great way to build a solid friendship.
4) A Shopping Trip – Once you’ve ditched the parents, a great way to get on the same page together is to take a trip to Target or Walgreens with your roommate to stock up on essentials or forgotten items together.
5) Give Each Other Space – Remember that you don’t have to be joined at the hip. Your roommate may become your best friend but living in tight quarters can be stressful regardless of how much you enjoy each other’s company. Making friends with others and growing separately can often strengthen the friendship.
6) Talk It Out – You’re going to fight with your roommate at some point. It’s inevitable. Keeping open lines of communication is essential.
7) Be Ok With Not Being Friends – It is possible that you might not get along with your roommate at all. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world. As long as you can figure out a way to respect each other, you can probably live together. Don’t forget that this is really only for 9 months of your life. You can get through that!