Let's face it, coming into college can be scary enough as it is, but the idea of sharing a room with someone can be even scarier. Growing up as an only child, I not only appreciated my time with my friends and family, but I took my alone time for granted. My room and my bathroom that I once had to myself are now shared with one or more people daily.
The quiet, peaceful time is now shared with another whom I've never lived with before. No longer can I blast my music and dance around like a fool. No, someone is always there, who I don't know, and I don't know if they're judging me.
The idea of having a roommate can be scary, especially if you don't know them beforehand. What if they're strange? What if they watch me in my sleep? What if they're the polar opposite of me? As I entered college with my roomie, I worried about what would be rude, so I felt uncomfortable in my own room. I struggled to do things freely, as I didn't know if she would like them or be annoyed with me.
Being an only child for the past eighteen years, sharing a space, especially such a small one, was uncomfortable. I was always a social person, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed my peace and quiet. However, I've found that the slightest couple of things can make the vibe of your living space much lighter.
You two don't have to talk all the time. It's okay to have your own version of "alone time." I've found that having "quiet time" at the end of the day helps. Put your earbuds in and listen to your music or watch your show, and they can do the same. Secondly, be considerate, but don't be afraid to be yourself.
The best way to make a friend of your roomie is to be yourself and be comfortable in your room. Lastly, establish guidelines and expectations of what you want from your room. Find out what's okay to share, and always ask before taking. Discuss how clean you want your room and when you'd like to clean up and do laundry. You both will forget at some point, but you'll appreciate it in the end.
Finally, having a roomie isn't negative. In fact, having someone there is the best thing you can have in this scary time of transition. While adjusting to college life, classes, and being away from home, you can find comfort in your roommate, as they are in the exact same situation you are. Hold each other accountable for doing well in school, study at the same time, talk about things you both like and then do them together.
Having a roommate is your first step to having college friends, who in turn will be your friends for a lifetime. As an only child, it's easier to be introverted. Let your roomie be your first sign that college is the time to step out of that comfort zone and grow. Use your many hours spent together in the same room to bond, make memories, and have fun, because your room is now your home, so do your best to make it a comfortable environment. If they don't make a move, be proactive and get the conversation started. You may miss your alone time, but spending time with your roomie may be the best thing that's ever happened to you.