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10 Ways To Get To Know Your Roommate

10 Ways To Get To Know Your Roommate

Fall is on its way, and for some, that marks the first semester of their college experience. It’s both exciting and nerve wracking to enter your freshmen year. One of the biggest concerns incoming freshmen face is whether or not they’ll like their roommate. If you’re looking to get to know your roommate a little bit better, here are ten suggestions I have for you:

1. FaceTime Before Move In Day

FaceTiming someone you don’t know super well can be terrifying. But don’t let your fear hold you back from getting closer to your roommate. To avoid making the FaceTime seem forced or abrupt, use the excuse that you want to discuss dorm decor. You can text your roommate explaining that you bought some things for your room and ask if they would like to see it. That way, the purpose of your FaceTime isn’t so in-your-face-let’s-get-to-know-each-other, and is instead for a genuine reason. 

2. Start With A Coffee Date

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Coffee shops always ensure a chill ambiance. You’ll want to start somewhere more laidback when you and your roommate go out for the first time. To make the gesture seem more natural, ask them if they’d like to take a break from unpacking to grab coffee with you. Not only is this a great way to take a pause from the chaos of move in day, but it’ll also allow you the chance for some one-on-one time. I’m a firm believer in the fact that coffee brings people together. If you feel uncomfortable going with just your roommate, invite your family and theirs along (assuming that they’re moving you in). This will give your family time to meet that of your roommate’s, and if you’re worried about carrying a conversation with them, your parents will be there to support you. 

3. Spend Your First Night In

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I promise you, there will be plenty of opportunities to go out at night. Would you even want to go to a frat after a tiring day of moving boxes? I would fall asleep waiting in line. That said, offer up the idea of a movie night. You can bond over your favorite movies and snacks within the comfort of your own dorm. Turn something on that doesn’t require your full attention, allowing you the chance to talk to your roommate. (I like to talk during movies, so it doesn’t matter for me what we watch). If you want, you can invite some of your friends to join in the fun. Who knows? Maybe your friends will get along well with your roommate, expanding your friend group even more. You can learn a lot about someone from their taste in movies. 


4. Join A Club Together

You don’t need to be around your roommate 24/7; in fact, it’s healthy not to be. But if you want to know more about your roommate’s interests, suggest joining a club together. Maybe you have something you like in common. If you find that the two of you like soccer, try out for the team! Maybe you’re both interested in joining Greek Life. Even if you get into different organizations, at least you still have a common interest you can talk about together. Participating in a club together will also give you the chance to branch out. You’ll likely make new friends that you both know. 

5. Run Errands 

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Dedicate a day of the week for errands. Friday is usually my grocery day, where my roommates and I hit up Target and Trader Joe’s. Create a similar routine with your roommate. There’s two benefits to running errands together: first, you can coordinate what you need for your dorm and who will buy it. Second, you can spend more time together without making it feel forced. And besides, who doesn’t like to go to Target? I guess that’s three reasons then: buying dorm essentials, spending time together, and roaming around Target.


6. Game Night

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Honestly, I’m always down for a game night. Though they might sound lame, they’re one way to get to know your roommate better. Grab some drinks, invite your friends, and get playing. My personal favorite icebreaker games are Cards Against Humanity and Who’s Most Likely To. Jackbox is also fun, and if you’re feeling extra competitive, host a Jeopardy night. Drinking games are another solid option, too. It’s up to you what you choose.

7. Utilize Social Media

Everyone’s a little bit of a stalker when it comes to social media. There’s no shame in that (unless you’re actually stalking someone…in that case, go to jail). Before move in day, follow your roommate on Instagram, TikTok…whatever apps you use regularly. Social media will offer you an insight into who this person is, though it may be a more fabricated view. Once you follow their accounts, full hacker mode (kidding). Look at mutual followers and if they display any of their interests on their page. Chances are, you’ll find common ground that way. Social media also offers you another mode of communication. If you prefer to communicate via sending TikToks rather than texting someone, that’s understandable. 


8. Establish Ground Rules

You don’t want to run into any situations with your roommate. To avoid future issues, establish ground rules in the first week of school. “Rules” is a harsh word…maybe “preferences” would be more suitable. Cover all the basics: what’s off limits, who’s paying for what, when can people visit, etc. It’s also important to note when your roommate needs quiet time. If they go to bed early, be respectful of their needs. Don’t invite friends over late at night unless otherwise approved by your roommate. 

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9. Cook Together

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This might not apply for everyone, as some college dorms lack a place to cook. Either that, or the communal kitchens are too disgusting to use (believe me, I’ve had that problem before). Let’s say, hypothetically, that you and your roommate have easy access to a kitchen. If that’s the case for you, take advantage of the space! Cook a meal with your roommate that isn’t microwavable or takeout. It doesn’t have to be extravagant—a simple pasta dish will do the trick. If you cook together, you can split the cost for ingredients, bond in the process, and leave with a filling meal that isn’t from the dining hall (gross). If cooking isn’t your speed, baking is just as fun. If not more. 

10. Spend Time Outside Your Dorm

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Sometimes your dorm can feel suffocating. There’s an easy fix to that problem: go outside. It’s good to have a relationship with your roommate that goes beyond your dorm. Ideally, you’ll want to be friends with them rather than just roommates. I know that this only happens to a handful of people, but why not give it a shot? Go on a walk around campus with your roommate, or suggest grabbing a meal together at your dining hall. It doesn’t matter what you do—just don’t limit your relationship to your dorm room.


While I can’t guarantee that you and your roommate will become best friends, I can assure you that everything will work out. The chances of getting a horrible roommate are slim, and if you do find yourself in an uncomfortable position, you can always contact the head of housing. And of course, there’s always next year. Roommates are not bound to live with you forever, so take advantage of the time you have together!

Know someone who’s going into their freshman year? Share this post with them for some much-needed advice!

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