One of the scariest parts of going off to college or living in the dorms for the first time is getting your roommate assignment. For the next school year, you’ll share a space, sleep next to, and most likely hang out with a person you barely know. That can be quite intimidating!
While there are plenty of roommate horror stories out there, the majority of roommate situations are friendly, and many turn into awesome friendships. By putting in the effort to get to know your college roommate, you can build a positive relationship without the drama.
Plan Room Decor Early
Before you move in, you’re going to want to check in with your roommate on some of the logistics of your room. For example, how would you like the room to be laid out (especially if your furniture can be moved around or stacked) or if the person plans to bring a fridge or a TV.
If all is going well with the more logistical side of dorm living, why not try planning room decor together too? Talk style ideas or coordinating themes. Show them some of the bedding you like or plan a craft night the first few days you are there. You can even make a date for a shopping trip to a local thrift store that gets great reviews or share a Pinterest board if distance makes it hard to connect in advance.
Set Aside Time
With school starting up, boxes to unpack, and nerves on an all-time high, it can be hard to find time to just sit down and talk. That’s why it is important to have a roommate-only time set aside within the first week or two of moving in. This may be a few hours to watch a movie or a trip to the cafeteria with just you two.
Your time can be totally laid back and just an informal way of talking through some questions. Or you can bring along a roommate agreement or roommate rule list to talk through. By doing it in public or with a fun activity like trying out a new restaurant, there’s less chance it will be awkward!
Play the Roommate Game
Breaking the ice can be a bit uncomfortable. After all, how do you naturally ask how many siblings your roommate has or if they like country music or rap? You can get these answers by playing a fun getting to know you roommate game! Make it just between the two of you or invite your next door neighbors to play along too. You can even suggest this to your floor’s RA as an activity night idea.
The game is pretty simple, and if you’ve seen the TV show The Newlywed Game, you already know how to play. One roommate is given a piece of paper and a marker to answer questions such as “What is your favorite food?” while the other roommate is outside. When a group of three or four questions are asked, bring in the second roommate and have them try to guess what their roommate said. For every correct answer, the “team” gets a point.
While this game works mid-year when you’ve really gotten to know them, this game is also totally fun to play in the beginning as a guessing game. You may find you have a ton in common!