Meeting your roommate for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. Having a random roommate invites the possibility of spending an entire year with someone who might be your new best friend or just someone who sleeps in the other bed. Luckily, HC is here to provide you with a few tips on getting to know your roomie before it’s time to move in!
1. Talk on the phone or Skype
By talking on the phone, Skyping, or FaceTiming with your roommate, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know a few things about her before moving in.
For Julia Flaherty, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a quick and simple phone conversation worked out well. “It’s a great tradition that should be kept up,” she says. “You kind of play a journalist role in getting to know each other and asking each other questions.” Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to break the ice!
2. Go out to lunch
What better way to bond with your roommate than to do it over your mutual love of food? If distance isn’t an issue for you and your new roomie, try out a new restaurant in your hometown or even where you’ll be going to school. Everyone loves to eat, and nothing brings two people together better than a meal.
“I was really nervous about moving to New York not knowing anybody, but then I found out that my future roommate and I both lived near each other,” says Amber, a junior at Columbia University. “We ended up setting up a little brunch date to get to know each other, and it definitely helped us bond a little before we got to New York.”
A simple lunch or dinner date can give the two of you a chance to learn about each other’s majors, where you’re from and what types of things you like to do to have fun. It’s also a way to keep things short and sweet just in case you run out of things to talk about!
3. Follow each other on social media
Social media is a great option for getting to know your roommates when distance is in the way. Whether you add each other on Facebook or follow each other on Twitter, social media can be a great way for you to be introduced to the type of person your roommate is.
“My roommate and our suitemates were random, and we were all over the place geographically,” says Sam LaFrance, a junior at George Washington University. “We started a group Facebook message to talk about cleaning and things, but we also used it to get to know each other. We also shared Twitters and Tumblrs, and we all ended up hitting it off pretty well.”
A lot of schools have pre-college events for freshmen to give them a chance to get a feel for college life while getting to know the people in their class. An event like this is also a great way for you and your roommate to get to know other people together while also getting an idea of the types of people you both like to hang out with.
Ashley Gibbs, a junior at Duke University, attended her school’s Black Student Alliance Invitational with her current roommate during their senior year of high school. “When we went, we met all of the other ethnic students that were accepted to Duke,” she says. “She was my roommate for the weekend, and we went to all the parties together. Overall, we had a pretty good experience together freshman year … we’re still roommates to this day.”
Your relationship with your roommate can have a pretty big effect on your freshman experience, so it’s important that the two of you have a pretty good relationship with each other. You don’t have to end up being best friends in the end, but you can at least put forth the effort to get to know each other before you arrive on campus!