Breaking the Ice with Your Roommate

Congratulations, you were accepted into your dream college! But the excitement isn’t over yet. There is still that long waited moment of finding out where you’re living at and who your roommate is.

Of course finding out your roommate doesn’t apply to those who are living in singles or arranged roommates themselves. But for those who chose random roommates, that final letter is a thrill.

But after that thrill comes a rush of nerves. Who is this person? Will we get along? What if she hates me? What if I hate her? It’s an uneasy feeling because you don’t know anything about this person. Naturally, your first instinct is to become friends with them on Facebook. But then what?

Communication is key. It’s 2013 now, there should be no excuse to not communicate with your future roommate before moving in. Facebook, phones, texting, and Skype are common ways of getting in touch with your roommate. I suggest requesting to be friends with them on Facebook first. Start by sending a friendly message and exchange numbers.

But, do not judge who they are based on their Facebook.

Before moving in is the time to talk to one another about the dorm room. Discuss who will bring what such as a TV, microwave, futon, etc.  If you both want to coordinate colors and buy matching decorative items, this will be the time to do so.

If you two just happen to live rather close together, it could be nice to meet up for lunch one day. But here’s some advice for you two to do when first meeting in the dorm and that moment less awkward.

Get Lunch

Moving in is a very stressful day in college. There’s a ton of new people you have never seen before, boxes are being moved everywhere by everyone and their families, and emotional parents and students flock the parking lots. Get to know one another by finding a small place with great grub.

Besides trying to get that awkward first moment with one another out of the way, plan on going to the dining hall together for the first week. It’s nice to have someone to eat with since you wont know many people there. And maybe it could become a daily routine for the rest of the year.

Explore Campus

Go look around campus and figure out where each of your classes is located. It’s a good idea to exchange schedules to know when you each will be out of the room. And who knows, maybe you will have some of the same classes. This is also a great way to become familiar with the area. Maybe explore the town and campus after eating that lunch.

Meet the People on your Floor

Don’t be shy. Keep the door open and allow visitors to come by and say “hello.” Go around your floor and meet everyone else, you’ll basically be living with them for the rest of the year as well.

Leave little notes on their white boards. They’ll most likely turn into inside jokes. Just be friendly and don’t be judgmental. They could end up being your best friends.

Talk TV

I never watched much TV until I came to college. After studying, watching TV was a great way to unwind before bed. But you share a TV with your roommate. Find a series TV show that you both love. This is very common for roommates to do their freshman year.

My roommate and I would watch The Office every single night for hours. I looked through her movie collection and saw she had every season. That was one of my favorite TV shows and it ended up being “our thing.”

Maybe even people on your floor want to join in on a tradition with getting together one day out of the week to watch a show that everyone loves. Trust me, this is one of the best ways to bond. A whole group of girls on my floor, including myself, would gather in the same room every Thursday night to watch The Vampire Diaries. Everyone brought snacks to eat and we would talk for hours afterward with what happened on the show and just bonding in general.

I know roommates that watched Entourage every night, some guys loved Always Sunny, some girls love Gossip Girl, and so on. These TV series is the best way to bond with your roommate and people on your floor. This also goes for movies.

If it Doesn’t Work?

Sometimes your first roommate doesn’t work out. My first roommate and I didn’t get along for certain reasons but we still tried by going to lunch for the first time and such.

Don’t be scared if you and your roommate don’t get along. Chances are you will be allowed to switch during a certain time period. You don’t want your first year to be a nightmare simply because the person you’re living with doesn’t get along with you.

Many roommates end up being friends for life. My second roommate and I always talk and hang out. I had a suite so I had a connecting room with two other girls and we still keep in touch although we live away from one another. But the people on my floor are best friends to this day. And I believe it’s because we all would go eat together, we go lost on the busses the first weekend when we tried to explore the campuses, and we made it a tradition to watch that show every week. And we still gather every Thursday to watch it.

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Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman is a senior at University of Iowa pursuing degrees in Journalism and English. Having a passion for food, she loves cooking and visiting restaurants. Besides cooking, you’ll find her reading, catching up on TV shows, or hanging out with friends and family. She is an enthusiastic Chicago fan. She devotes herself to “da” Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox.