If you are going to live in dorms when you leave for college, you will most likely have a roommate because freshmen rarely reside in single rooms. Some roommates hit it off immediately and become really good friends, but this is not always the case. If you don't become friends, you need to at least tolerate each other. Here are some tips for getting along with your college roommate.
Contact them beforehand. As soon as your school's matching service assigns you a roommate and informs you about who they are, reach out and contact your roommate on Facebook or some other social networking site or via email if you have their address. The move-in day will be hectic, so getting acquainted with your roommate in advance might make it less stressful. But don't rely on online communication too much. At this stage, it's too early to make any conclusions about your roommate's character.
Get to know them. Even if you don't become friends, it will be helpful to know your roommate's likes and dislikes, so don't be shy to ask each other questions (but not too personal). You also need to learn to communicate with each other to avoid conflict, so bonding will be a good idea. Go to lunch together or have a movie night to break the ice. Even if you have no intentions of hanging out with your roommate, they won't be a stranger anymore.
Establish boundaries and rules. Is it OK to have guests over? How are you going to share cleaning responsibilities? How do both of you feel about sharing things? What should you do if one of you is a night owl and the other goes to bed early? It is better to prevent problems than to deal with them, so you need to discuss everything in detail.
Be ready to negotiate and compromise. If you have clashing lifestyles, you will need to compromise for things to work out. You should adjust your respective schedules so that you don't conflict with each other's activities and give each other enough space. We also recommend that each of you invests into high-quality headphones – believe us, you will need them at one point or another.
Communicate. Open and honest communication is important in any relationship. No one is a mind reader. If you don't address small issues, they will pile up until things get really ugly between you two. If you are uncomfortable addressing the problem alone, you can ask your resident assistant to act as a mediator.
You should be friendly but you don't have to become friends. Mutual friendliness will create a comfortable environment, but you shouldn't expect that you will become BFFs with your roommate. Mutual respect is enough for comfortably sharing a room with a person. If you want to find new friends in college, you can find them elsewhere.
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