So you’re about to experience living with roommates other than your family for the first time in your life. It’s totally normal to feel nervous! But instead of worrying about what could go wrong, let’s take a step back and consider all of the little things you can do in order to make sure your relationships with your roommates go a long way.
1. Get in touch early
This might not always be possible, but really the sooner you meet these people the sooner you’ll know what to expect. If you’re going to an out of state college, try swapping Instagram or phone numbers over the portal for housing. You can do this by shooting him, her, or them an email if it’s listed. Make sure to introduce yourself as a part of your talk. If a meeting online or a talk face to face doesn’t go well then there’s no shame in looking for someone else to room with. After all, you’re going to spend time with this person. A LOT of time. If your future roommates are neat freaks and your room is scattered with water bottles, it might be time to say sayonara and find someone you’ll actually get along with.
2. Figure out what they like
This will be an ongoing process, whether you get to talk to them before you meet face to face or not. Face it: Shared interests means that you’re connecting with someone. You can talk about shows you watch, music you listen to, things you did in high school, or just hobbies that you’re obsessed with. Does she have a Polaroid camera? Maybe you two can go out and take pictures together! Knowing someone is the first step to learning how to empathize and see things from their point of view.
(Having an ice-breaker during those awkward moments before the two of you have talked for long is also a huge perk.)
3. Make a good first impression
Playing the long game is no fun at all. That’s why making a good, personable first impression is so important. You want your roommates to know that you’re interested in what they plan to get up to, and that you’re open to the possibility of being friends. Consider bringing them a small gift such as candy or a succulent as a message to show your good intentions. Moving-in anywhere is going to be a slow and stressful process, just remember to keep calm and make the best of meeting everyone in this new place.
4. Ask if they want to go do things
While you might have the instinct to get out and explore the area, it’s possible that your roommates remain a little shut-in or shy. Just leave the offer on the table for them to hang out with you anyways! Whether it’s asking if they wanna join you for a quick lunch or if they’re interested in a night out on the town, both can turn into a fun instance of bonding. It might seem obvious to you that the invitation to ‘come with’ is always open, but you never know, certain people just kind of need it spelled out for them. There’s no harm in figuring out how your partner in living enjoys spending their time, anyways.
5. Be yourself!
Do it!!!!! It’s cheesy but it helps. Talk about those weird interests you like, or those funny things that went on at your hometown. Humans are naturally awkward and strange creatures, and we feel closer to people when there’s more than just surface-level interests holding together a bond. This might mean becoming more emotionally-open too if your roommates are alright with getting #Real about life. The more you talk through any issues pertaining to your living situation, the more respect your roommates will have for you for being so honest emotionally.