Young Asian woman and Black woman in sweatshirts holding slices of pizza in dorm

3 Ways to Establish a Good Relationship With Your New Roommate

You want to get along with your roommate in college—or at least tolerate them! Here are three ways to start off on the right foot with your new roomie.

There's no telling what type of roommate you’ll end up with once you get to college. Of course, some students hope to room with their best friend from high school, but some colleges don’t offer that option. And sometimes that can be too close for comfort or make it harder to meet new people! Rooming with someone you don’t know can be a great learning experience. Unfortunately, you might get stuck with a slacker who never cleans their side of the room or a bossy straight-A student who calls lights out at exactly 8:00 pm every night. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to get along with your new roommate—or at least tolerate them!

1. Get to know each other

And when I say, “get to know each other,” I mean dig deep into their social media to start. If it seems like an invasion of privacy, just know your roomie is probably doing the same thing to you! There’s nothing wrong with getting to know someone before you meet them in person; it just gives you a general sense of what kind of person they are. If you look at their Instagram, you may see that they’re interested in photography or love to hang out with their dog. Their Twitter may showcase an entirely different facet of their personality. From any platform, you’ll be able to tell who you’re dealing it and what you may need to look out for.

Go so far as to reach out ahead of time through social media too, so you can discuss what each of you would like to bring to the room. Room decorations like a rug or bathroom essentials like toilet paper (if you have a private bathroom) are a few things you may want to split and wouldn’t be a big deal to share. Getting to know your roomie ahead of time makes move-in day a whole lot smoother.

Related: Video: 3 Tips for Getting Along With Your Roommate

2. Talk about boundaries

At my college, the RAs on each floor make their residents sign a boundary form that helps the roommates establish what they want and don’t want concerning the room. You can talk about things such as:

  • What time do you want lights out
  • If you’re allowed to borrow each other’s stuff or not
  • How to communicate with each other if there’s a problem
  • Rules regarding guest visits

You can’t go wrong by setting some ground rules for living together. Get a good idea of how your roommate thinks about certain things and you’ll know how to communicate effectively with them if you’re ever uncomfortable with something.

3. Get out and do something

Once you’re settled in your room and decorated it as fancy or grungy as you can get it, ask your roomie if they’d like to go out and grab a bite to eat. You may have gotten to know them a little online, but now is the time to really get to know who they are. You’ll have some spare time on campus before classes start for the year so use it to get comfortable with each other. Try to do something you both like and you’ll start to bond. You don’t have to be super-great friends with your roommate, but it’s better to have a tolerable relationship with them. You’ll be living together for the next nine months, after all.

Related: Strangers or Besties? Developing a Good Dynamic With Your College Roommates

Starting with these simple guidelines could help lead to the beginning of a great relationship with your new living partner. But don’t try to force it. If you and your roommate aren’t besties, that’s okay. You have to get through the year together, so foster your relationship in a natural way that makes you both comfortable. Now, go make memories!

Worried about college because you’re a bit of an introvert? Check out some great advice with the Top College Search and Campus Life Tips If You’re Not a Big People Person.

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About Zephanie Battle

Zephanie Battle is a student at Texas State University who likes photography, music, and movies.


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