So, you are finally moved in to the college of dreams (a student can dream, right?). Now, you have to make due with living with a total stranger. At least, this is true for those of us who went random or picked someone off the class Facebook page. Fortunately, you will not be strangers for long. Making a good impression on your new roommate is fairly simple if you are courteous, thoughtful and overall just down-to-earth. Now, you do not have to be absolutely perfect because, really, you’re only human. Just relax, review the tips and carry on with your freshman year!
Going to the grocery store? Ask them if they need anything.
This first tip does not sound like much, but it seriously says something to the other person when you ask what they want. It shows that you actually took the time to think of them. You just met a few days/weeks ago, and you’re already making them a subtle priority! You have acknowledged that you two are a unit, and you care about their needs, not just your own. Seriously though, take the time to check on them. It’s worth it. In fact, if you are feeling extra bold, why not ask them if they would like to join you on your trip to the store?
Invite them to come along with you to the gym.
Having a little buddy time with your roommate is never a bad thing. As long as you are not obnoxiously stating they need to lose weight, they will appreciate the gesture. Of course, you do not have to actually work out together when you get to the gym, but it’s still nice to have a buddy to cool down and chat with. I know plenty of great roommate pairs who kick-started their friendship by taking regular trips to the recreation center together. It’s a great bonding experience, and you will get fit doing it!
Use some down time to watch a movie together.
Trust me, in those first few weeks you will have a lot of time to spend lounging around your room. Since you will be spending so much time there, why not spend time with your roommate? Movies are one of the easiest icebreakers out there. Seriously, it’s a huge part of pop culture that everyone can connect through. Nothing brings people closer together than making wise cracks at a bad movie or quoting lines word-for-word in sync. Who doesn’t love a good Mean Girls viewing? Or perhaps Easy A?This is also an insanely cheap form of entertainment because most people have Netflix nowadays. Also, if Netflix is not an option, you can always rent for free from your university’s undergraduate library because digital medium is rapidly making its way into our schools. Honestly, it’s fantastic.
Sit back, relax and let the conversation flow. Don’t force it.
The number one tip for getting on your roommate’s good side is to be just be yourself. While you always want to be nice and thinking of them, you also have to take some time for yourself. If you spend all your time being in your roommate’s business, you will push them away much faster than not talking to them at all. Start conversations with things you both may be interested in, but do not forget to talk about yourself every once in a while. While this sounds narcissistic, focusing the entire conversation on them will only make you a stranger in their eyes because they have not learned a thing about you. Remember, communication is equal parts talking and listening: give and take.
Tori Stukins is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. On campus, Tori can often be found working on various projects for Her Campus Illinois, acting in a production or reading. While at home, she enjoys working at her family’s restaurant or exploring with her friends.