Summer is in full swing, and for future freshmen, that means orientation and roommate assignments are coming soon! We’ve talked about orientation here, here, and here, but what about your roommate(s)? If you did a random roommate, then you should be finding out who you’ll be living with pretty soon. You’ll be given their contact information, and then it’s on you to facebook, text, or call them. Because it is a random roommate, the first few conversations have the potential to be awkward. Here’s how to initiate a conversation with your roommate and what to discuss in the months before move in day.
1) Initiate. The first step is of course to contact them, and the best way is to add them on Facebook. This allows both of you to see who the other person is before you start talking, which takes some of the initial apprehension away. Texting works too, but it’s a little strange texting a random roommate who you don’t know.
2) Contact. Once you add them, facebook message them, or, if your a girl, write on their wall something like “What’s up roommie ”
3) Talk. Introduce yourself, and trade messages about each other for a while. The next step is then to talk about the upcoming year and what your guys situation is, specifically what your plans are, when you go to sleep, if you party or not, any habits, do you snore?, if you have a girlfriend/boyfriend who will be sleeping over, any food allergies, any pet peeves, etc. The fewer surprises in the fall the better, so lay everything on the table now so they know as much about their roommate as possible. Make sure your roommate also tells you all about themselves and their plans for the year, so you’re not surprised in the fall either.
4) Shared room stuff. On move in day it’s going to be hectic, with people everywhere, and the local Wal-Mart will be jam-packed with college students buying something they forgot. You and your roommate are best off buying everything ahead of time, and this includes any shared items for the room. Typical dorm rooms have shared mini-fridges, T.V.’s, video game consoles, door-mirrors, speakers, radios, christmas lights, etc. Decide with your roommate what you guys want to get for the room, and then decide who’s going to get each thing.
5) Friends? After talking to your roommate for a little bit on facebook, it’s going to be pretty clear if you guys are destined to be friends or not. Don’t judge your roommate at all, and maybe you’ll be in for a nice surprise when you meet them in person, but for the most part you can tell if you guys have things in common or not. If you guys are similar, then start talking about more personal things such as past girlfriends/boyfriends, funny personal stories, what your parents are like, your taste in the opposite sex, and other more personal things. The best possible roommate scenario is if you guys become best friends, so if you think that’s possible start taking your friendship to a personal level before you even more in.
On the other hand, if it’s clear you don’t have much in common, then just establish a friendly mindset and know that you’ll be living with them for the next year, so compromise if there’s any disagreements. It’s not the end of the world, and there’s going to be 40 or more people in your dorm hall to make friends with.
(Photos by FJ Gaylor Photography under Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0)