Living in a dorm the size of a walk-in closet with a stranger is a uniquely odd experience bestowed upon many freshmen. Often times students are asked to fill out a roommate-matching survey, however, others don't have this luxury. Whatever your case may be, this guide of dos and don'ts is to help cope with any anxieties that come with moving in with someone you are expected to bunk with for a year.
DO: Get in touch with your roommate before moving in
Send your roommate an email, a text, connect with them over social media, and introduce yourself! This will let you get to know your roommate better and it'll ease any uncertainties you might have. Who knows, you might just end up in a conversation about your favorite conspiracy theories.
DON'T: Be passive aggressive about things
Living with someone means getting to know their habits — not all of which you are going to like. You might be diligent at keeping your living area clean while your roommate thrives in a little disorganization. If differences between you two become an issue, it's best to address them and reach a compromise than to gossip about it to other hall mates or be passive aggressive and live in complete annoyance with your roommate — it'll not do your mental health or your relationship with them any good.
DO: Make plans to hang out
You don't need to be best friends with your roommate — no matter how many people may think so. If you find you're both not doing anything on a Friday night, make plans to go out once in a while, even if it's just to get coffee or to see a movie. Having a close relationship with your roommate is a plus, however, it's not required by any means.
DONT: Force a friendship if there isn't one
If you find your roommate always turning down your offers to hang out, it's not the end of the world and you are not doomed to be friendless. Your dorm has hundreds of other people living in it that you can get to know through mixers and hall-wide events, you will have classmates whom you share interests with, and you have four years to make all the friends you want, so don't be discouraged by rejection! Just remember to keep things civil between you and your roommate.
DO: Go over your Roommate Agreement
Don't brush off the roommate agreement at the beginning of the year--it'll help you down the road. We often get caught up in the excitement of move-in day and living independently that we forget to discuss the nitty-gritty with our roommates. Should I text my roommate before having friends over? What groceries are we comfortable sharing? How are the chores going to be divided up? It's better to go into the school year knowing your boundaries than to have disagreements afterward.
Go forth with this knowledge and conquer the school year!