Emily Barylske is one of our student writers here at CollegeXpress. She takes common college search questions and researches the answers. Those helpful answers end up here in our new Q&A With Emily column! If you have a question for Emily, feel free to leave it in a comment, send us an e-mail, or get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Question: How do I talk with my college roommate? We just found out we are roommates, and there’s not much communication going on.
This is an understandable problem. Sometimes it takes people a while to open up. Just try your best to get to know your roommate. Here are a few tips to open up the communication.
Make the first move and introduce yourself
Sometimes the best way to get things going is to just introduce yourself. Start off with a friendly hello and a little bit about who you are. Keep the introduction simple, and you’ll be chatting in no time.
Ask about their college plans
This way you can find out if you two have anything in common: sports, clubs, majors, or even future career. You might already know some of this information, but it always helps getting to know who your roommate is. This information can clue you in to how often they’ll be around your dorm room too.
Talk about dorm room needs
You already have one big thing in common: where you’re living! So before the school year even starts, you can talk about your dorm needs, which can really get a conversation going. Who’s bringing the mini fridge? Who’s bringing the microwave? Each college has a list of things you can and cannot bring to campus. Refer to that list when talking about this. I know one of my suitemates is bringing the mini fridge and the television for our suite, then another one is bringing the microwave, and I’m bringing a K-Cup coffeemaker. We have a text group chat going, and we post in it when we talk about new things someone is bringing.
Plan a meet-up
If your roommate lives locally, or if you both can find a way to meet in the middle, this is a good way to get a good grasp of who they are. You can tell a little bit about a person by how they act out in public too. This is often less true when it comes to how they act on social media. Anyone can put up a front and face online. You’ll learn a lot about your roommate by their body language, mannerisms, and social skills. Just as you will be studying them, don’t forget they will be studying you too.
Everyone is a bit skeptical about college roommates, so don’t worry if you’re feeling nervous too. You are sharing a new living environment with someone you don’t even know. This can be difficult and maybe a bit challenging if you are not used to it. Just try to relax and take a deep breath. You will both be fine!