If you haven’t already, pretty soon you’ll be finding out who your roommate is going to be for freshmen year. It can be very nerve-wracking to contact your new roommate for the first time, so here are a few tips to help you combat the nerves and make a good first impression.
Use social media.
The first thing most people will do when they find out the name of their roommate is stalk them on social media sites. This can be a good way to find out things like what kind of music they like, movies they watch, what their hobbies are. However, be careful about judging them before you actually get to know them. Not everyone is exactly the same on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as they are in real life; so go ahead and check out their profile, but don’t let ideas form in your head about who they are just from that.
Take a moment to look at your own profiles, too. Do they represent you the way you would like? I know that around the time when I first found out who my roommate would be, my profile picture on Facebook was of a lone tree in the middle of a field (it was an inside joke with a few of my friends). Knowing that my future roommate was probably going to be some Facebook stalking of her own, I quickly changed my profile before reaching out to her.
Make a quick introduction via Email.
Most initial contacts are done via the Internet, making email a great option for a quick introduction, and to get the first conversation started. When you decide to contact them, try something simple like, “Hey, I’m (your name), your new roommate, and I just wanted to introduce myself before we moved in together!” You can add in a few facts like your major and where you are from, and then just let the conversation flow from there. Once the conversation has begun, a few initial questions you might want to ask are: Where are they are from? How many siblings do they have? How was high school for them? What is their major? Are they going to be involved in any campus activities or sports.
Be sure to discuss some key topics.
Besides learning the little things about each other, there are certain topics you should make sure you understand before moving in with each other so you are prepared for one another’s living styles. Here are few essential things to know before hand:
- How neat or messy you are
- What time you like to go to bed
- What time you like to be up in the morning
- If you like to listen to music when you do work
- How each of you feel about having friends in the room
- Will guys be allowed to spend the night?
- How hot or cold do you like the room
- Who is bringing what (microwave, fridge, etc.)
Make sure you evaluate your living style honestly. It’s no use lying about how neat you are, or how late you stay up, because your roommate will find out the truth eventually. When you first start talking with your roommate, if you’re honest, you can compromise on things and set schedules if you find that there are certain things that you do differently. For example, if you need absolute quiet when you study, you can set up times when your roommate will be out, like if she has practice or a club meeting. This will help to avoid conflicts later on because you both will have a better notion of what to expect.
Don’t be afraid to give them a call.
You should try and talk on the phone with your roommate at least once before you move in. You can text back and forth for a while and when it feels like it won’t be super weird, have a phone chat. You’ll get to know your roommate better. The call can even just be about which roommate is bringing what- you shouldn’t be spilling life secrets or anything. If you live nearby each other, try and meet up and hang out a few times. See how you get along so you’ll be fully prepared when it comes time to move in with each other. Plus it will help make you feel like you are not moving in with a complete stranger.
What to avoid.
While it’s perfectly okay to follow each other and share some fun pictures, avoid sending your roommate-to-be tons of Snapchats or start liking everything they post. I can assure you this will look like you’re trying too hard, or worse, it will just come off creepy. Your future roommate will (hopefully) become your bff, but remember, friendships like this take time.
Also, while we encourage being upfront with your roommate, some things are better left unsaid before you meet him/her in person. You can say that you are more of a night owl and like to party, without bragging about all the shots you are planning on taking. You can say that you like to keep things clean and tidy, without mentioning that you’re totally OCD about your stuff being out of place. Remember that living with someone in a college dorm will involve some adjustments on both parts.
Something to keep in mind…
Don’t expect that you and your roommate will be best friends. Getting along with your roommate is important to having an enjoyable first year, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to be inseparable. While this does sometimes happen; it doesn’t hurt to branch out and meet new people and just be friendly with your roommate.
Meeting a new roommate for the first time is never an easy thing to do, but just follow these few tips and you should have no problem! Unless you have the infamous crazy roommate, in which case nothing can help.
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