If you don't already share a room with somebody, be ready for a major change when you head off to college. Living with somebody who may be a total stranger to you can be exciting and terrifying at the same time, especially if you've never lived with anybody before. At times it can be challenging to share a room and spend so much time with each other. However, living with a roommate can be a very rewarding experience if you can make it work out. Here are some ways to ensure that you make the best of what might seem like a tough situation:

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  1. Try to talk/meet up before school starts- This may not work out for everybody since there may be geographic restrictions on meeting each other, but you can definitely call, text or e-mail to get to know each other. However, if you can find a time and place to meet each other beforehand, it would be extremely beneficial since you can talk face-to-face and not have to wait until move-in day. If your school allows you to request a roommate, you should try and find somebody to room with so it's not completely random. You might be able to ask a friend if they know somebody going to your school that you could possibly room with. This way you can hear your friend's opinion on them and see if you would be a good match. I personally found my roommate through the University of Rochester's 2016 group, which allowed me to talk to him before we decided to room together. Even if this didn't work out, it was still a good way to talk to people and meet your future classmates. Ultimately, getting to know your roommate before you get to school is a good way to start off your relationship and create a less awkward first encounter when you arrive.
  2. Communication is key- You've probably heard this many times before, but it's very true. Once you get to school, it's probably a good idea to set some rules so that you can get along. This might include setting a time you shut the lights off to go to sleep, when you can have people in the room, and when you plan on doing your work. Obviously nothing is going to be set in stone since plans may change last minute, but at least you have some guidelines to live by. Also, if you ever feel like something is wrong, don't be afraid to talk to your roommate. You have to live with them for the whole year, so you might as well make the best of it. The more you talk to each other, the easier it will be to get along.
  3. Don't think you have to be best friends- It might happen, but don't think that you have to be BFFs with your roommate. I've seen many people make it work, but I've also seen a number of people get sick of it very quickly. My advice would be to stay friends, but keep your distance. If you go into this relationship thinking that this person is going to be your best man/maid of honor at your wedding, you might be let down or overwhelmed. Just go into this being yourself and see what happens. If you two click, then great, but if you don't, it isn't the end of the world. My roommate and I were good friends, but we didn't spend every minute together. Basically, don't try too hard to be best friends, but do try to put in some effort to be friends.

Following these three tips will definitely help make your college rooming experience a lot better. It may take a lot of effort and compromise, but in the end you'll be happy that you made it work out. Also, remember that if it doesn't work out even after trying your hardest to make it work, it's only for a year.

Jul 16, 2013
College Life

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