Dear Freshmen,

Congrats!! You know who your roommates are! You're probably thinking, "Oh this is going to be great! It's like one huge slumber party!" And you're right, but only for the first week or so once you move in. Here is some advice I would love to pass onto you from what I learned my freshman year after having three other roommates.

1. Add one another on social media.

I already knew my roommate -- we had decided at orientation that we wanted to live together. Once we figured out who our other two roommates were, we added one another on all social media. What's a little stalking going to hurt? You're already assigned to live together.

2. Start a group chat.

Group chats are a lifesaver during the summer! I made one for my roommates and me so we could keep up with who was bringing what. Plus, it was a great way to see how you all communicate together.

3. Make lists.

Lists are important. Go ahead and make one of the things you need, but make a side list of the stuff everyone said they were bringing so you don't have doubles or triples of the same thing.

4. Stick to the Roommate Agreement.

After about two weeks of living together, you will all have to sit down and sign a roommate agreement form for your RA. Sure, you can have fun when talking things out, but remember, whatever you put down is what you live by. If there is a conflict later on down the road, your RA will pull the roommate agreement and go over each part of it with the four of you. So put realistic answers down.

5. Communicate.

Communication is key! As the year progresses and something is bothering you, like for example, your roommate uses your make up without your permission, don't start drama with the whole entire hallway, just go and talk to them. Hopefully they won't bite your head off.

6. Use "I" statements.

Continuing on from number 5, when talking to either one or all of your roommates, use "I" statements to address the problem. If you begin accusing them either individually or as a group, that is just a fight waiting to happen. Be calm, use those "I" statements, and be open to hearing what they have to say. There's always at least two sides of the story.

7. It's okay if you're not best friends for life.

It really is! You can't force a friendship. One of my suite mates and I don't really talk to one another anymore, and we didn't talk that much during the year. We only talked to each other if we really needed to communicate about something; other than that, we just let each other do her own thing, and it was ok! We were fine with that.

8. Don't get bummed if one roommate wants to be alone.

Personal space is something people enjoy and usually need every once in awhile. I am an extrovert, no question, but I really enjoy my me time, sitting on my bed watching Netflix and everything calm. There were several times that couldn't happen, so I grabbed my laptop and would go and sit in the Multi-Purpose Room to get away from the 10 people that gathered in my suite every night. I loved them all, but I needed that time to recuperate from that day and binge watch Netflix.

9. Respect one another.

Aretha Franklin does a great job at spelling this one out. But treat others the way you want to be treated. If you don't want your roommates to rummage through your things, then don't go through theirs. If you have permission, great, but other than that, respect everyone's belongings and feelings.

10. Have Fun!

It's freshman year! Have fun, laugh, make memories, and enjoy it all, because in the blink of an eye, it will all be over. Your roommates will be there with you making those memories too, either together or separate, you always know about the memories no matter what. Communication is key, remember?


Survivor of Freshman Year

P.S. You can be a Freshman Year Survivor too! Just follow this advice, consult your RA if you need help, and always remember to have fun!