Going off to college is a lot of things. It’s fun, exciting, scary, overwhelming, and sometimes just plain weird. The biggest adjustment of all is often the rooming situation. But here are some ways to make that transition easier!
- Decide beforehand who will bring the microwave and who will bring the fridge. Even if you decide to purchase your own refrigerator and your own microwave it is best that you and your roommate share in the dorm in order to save space.
- Curtains and floor rugs: I did not think about bringing a floor rug until my roommate suggested bringing one, and it turned out to be a great idea. The rug covered most of our main floor space, and added a nice and homey touch. I recommend neutral colors; they will not clash with either your or your roommate’s décor. Curtains add that same personal touch. Plus they look great blowing on that gentle summer’s breeze!
- Television: Talk this over with your roommate as well. But make sure both of you are clear on when it is okay for it to be on, and when you need quiet hours. The last thing you want is to realize you need background noise to fall asleep while your roommate can only dream to the silence of the night!
- Fans are a must for most freshmen dorms, which will not have air conditioning. You probably will not have to do any serious coordinating for fans, but in case your dorm room cannot accommodate three tower fans (there were three in my room) it might not be a bad idea to plan accordingly.
So now it is move-in day. You have the fridge in tow, along with three suitcases, and boxes and bags of essentials. Your parents and those lovely college volunteers who helped move you in have left at the end of the day, and now it is just you and that one other person you will live with for a year. What to do now!! Some people are natural conversation makers. If this is you or if you are assigned a room with someone who is this way, finding out how well you two (or three) relate will happen more quickly, leading to lasting friendships, or to someone plotting the quickest escape. If you find yourself looking for a way to break the ice, start off by asking about their family. Simple? Very. But what this allows you to do is find out if they were an only child or had other siblings, and how much time they spent sharing a living space. This tactic gives both of you an idea of how comfortable to the other might be in the living situation. Get excited, though! Freshmen year offers a lot of new and exciting things, and living with someone new can be a great opportunity to makes friends with someone you might not have met otherwise. If you end up not meshing, don’t worry. Freshmen year is just one out of four that you have to figure out who you are and what you want to be. To make any interaction go smoother, just remember this: smile and speak!