Establish common ground with new roommates

Trey Crumbie

The Pre-Meeting

So you’ve finally secured a room in that dorm that you’ve had your eye on for the next semester. All you have do is worry about is move-in day and you’re good to go for the rest of the semester, right? Wrong! Unless you have some sort of special arrangement, you’re going to be living with someone else. 

Whether you already know them or not, establishing some ground rules before you two officially move in together will prove to be mutually beneficial. If you already personally know your roommate, this shouldn’t be too hard. If you haven’t met your roommate at all, it may be a good idea to contact them and meet him or her sometime before the beginning of next semester. 

I’m not saying you have to go the extra mile and take them out to dinner and a movie, but just meeting for a couple of minutes can make all the difference. 

You can use this time not only to meet each other, but to talk about how the two of you will set up the room next semester. 

Will one of you bring a fridge while the other brings a microwave? Will one of you bring an iron while the other brings an iron board? Or will it work better if the both of you take care of yourselves? These are things to discuss before the official move-in.

The Move-In

So it has been a couple of months since you took your final test and went back home for the summer. Now the fall semester is here and you’re ready to begin the whole song and dance again.

When you and your roommate move in, it’s best to talk about how you want to arrange the room before you begin hanging things up and plugging stuff in. 

Are bunk beds more your style or is keeping the beds separate? Will you combine the desks into one super desk? What about the shelves? It’s not just about combining or keeping furniture separate, it’s also about placement.   Will the beds be confined to the wall? Or maybe placing them near the window is better. Once these little things are taken care of, the two of you can officially begin the move-in.

Living Together

Living with a roommate isn’t just making sure that the room is set up the way you two want it. It’s also about getting used to each other’s behavior. 

One of you might be a night person while the other might be a morning person. One may be an extrovert while the other may be an introvert. One may need the constant company of music to get him or her through the day while the other needs absolute silence. 

These are things that you’ll have to work out with your roommate during the first couple of weeks together. 

As long as you keep communication open, the two of you will be able to work out a system so that both of you can live together in relative peace and harmony.

Little Tidbits

In my two-and-a-half years of living with a roommate in a dorm, I’ve learned little things that can ease the pain of not having a private room. 

For example, during my freshman year, my friends used a code word for when they wanted the room to themselves when they had company over. Instead of telling the roommate outright to leave, they would say they were going to get pineapples as an excuse to leave the room. 

Also, going out with your roommate can go a long way. 

Whether it’s heading out to the gym or studying together, spending time together outside of the room can be beneficial. After all, your roommate doesn’t have to be just your roommate. He or she can become your new friend as well.