Last Updated: July 18, 2012
Welcome to college! Guess what? Now you have to live with a stranger.
The roommate situation can either be wonderful or terrible. You might get lucky and be made for each other! Or you might not have anything in common with your new roommate. No matter what your particular scenario turns out to be, make the most of it and you will have a painless freshman year. The key? Communication.
Get in touch with your new roommate. As soon as you get their information, break the ice! It’s the hardest part, but thankfully email and Facebook make meeting someone for the first time a lot easier. Tell them a little bit about yourself and try to get to know them as best as possible.
Discuss the dorm room. Figure out which items you can each bring. Who has the microwave, mini-fridge, carpet, or chairs?! Planning a common space together is a great way to not only get pumped for a year together but bond over the awkward situation that is living with someone new.
Be open-minded. Even if you don’t think there is anything you have in common with this new roommate, you are both going to the same school. When in doubt, you can discuss what drew you to your university and ask why they are attending. They probably have their own interesting story that led them to this college.
Go out to dinner together. Or lunch! Or coffee! Spend some time getting to know this person at the beginning of the school year. You don’t have to do this on the first day or every day of your first week, but within the first month of school set aside a time where the two of you can chat in person. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the dorm room, so getting out to a new place will be fun.
Talk about expectations. Honestly, this is probably the hardest but the most important conversation to have with a roommate. Let them know where you stand on partying, studying, and living habits. If you need the dorm room to be spotlessly clean, be honest and tell them. If having a lot of friends over every night is something you plan on doing, say so. Then get ready to compromise if your ideas of good living habits vary from theirs.
Communicate with and respect each other. You do not have to be best friends. You might be! But, you don’t have to be. As long as you keep communication open and respect your joint living space, you will be just fine and freshman year will be a breeze.
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Original Post Date: July 5th, 2012