Four years ago, I began my first semester at college as a freshman (wow, I’m old). A new school, a new city, a new chapter ahead of me — and, most anxiety-inducing to me, a new roommate. I was so nervous about getting a college roommate; although I had shared a room with my sister for several years throughout my childhood, having a roommate — and nonetheless, one I had only met once prior to move-in — was unmarked territory. What if our living styles were too different, or what if we didn’t get along? And perhaps worse of all, what if she didn’t like me?
Thankfully, my living-with-a-literal-stranger jitters subsided about a week after moving in, as my freshman year roommate and I became quick friends — but that isn’t to say our friendship didn’t come without putting in effort. And it’s important to note that you certainly don’t have to be friends with your college roommate — but it is important for you both to put in the effort to get to know each other and simply coexist.
Read on for 12 things to try out to bond with your new college roommate.
- Make (and sign!) a roommate agreement.
At the start of the school year, it’s usually customary to make and sign a roommate agreement with your roommate and residence advisor. In the agreement, make sure to include certain things you expect from a good roommate — whether that’s keeping things neat in your dorm or having lights out by a certain time on weeknights.
- Follow each other on social media (and hype each other up!).
The first thing I did when I met my college roommate was follow her on social media — because in this digital age, it’s the easiest way to bond and connect. Oh, and I of course hyped her up on the gram.
- Go to on-campus activities.
At the start of the school year, there’s likely to be a plethora of on-campus activities to go to — from club fairs to football games to everything in between. During the first week of school, my roommate and I went to our club fair together, and it was a great way for me to learn more about her interests, and for her to learn about mine. We also signed up to attend several club meetings together — and although I didn’t end up staying in some (OK, I’ll be honest — most) of those clubs, it was still a bonding experience.
- Decorate your dorm room.
Not to say that you both have to coordinate your dorm room, but it can be fun to go decor shopping together and get some shared pieces for your dorm room!
- Binge watch a TV show.
Watching Netflix and screaming at the TV (or laptop screen) together is the perfect way to bond — and a great way to unplug and destress after a long day of classes and walking back and forth across campus.
- Try out a yoga or gym class.
Most college campuses have a free gym for their full-time students to utilize, as well as fun yoga and gym classes to try out. Try taking a yoga or spin class with your roommate — it could even become a weekly ritual!
- Create a bucket list for the school year.
My roommate and I actually did this and hung up our handwritten bucket list on our wall by our mini fridge. It was so fun going through the things on our list — which mostly consisted of exploring new places in Los Angeles — and checking them off throughout the school year.
- Grab coffee from your on-campus coffee shop.
My roommate and I were constantly hitting up our on-campus coffee shop — and later on in the school year, we would even surprise each other with our favorite drinks if we knew the other person was having a bad day. (Yes, take a mental note of your roommate’s go-to drink order — you never know when you might need it.)
- Explore your new campus and college town.
Going to college means that you’re likely in a whole new playground, and your college town is your oyster! Do some research for fun things to do in your town or city and go on a little day trip with your roomie.
- Go to the library and do homework.
OK, this one might sound boring, but you are in college, after all. Hit the lib after classes and have a study sesh together — oh, and snacks are a must.
- Go to a party (safely!).
If you and your roommate are up for it, try going to a college party — safely! Make a plan for the night and stick together.
- Celebrate each other's small successes.
Ultimately, college can be hard sometimes — you’re likely away from home for the first time ever, and there can be comfort in having a roommate that cheers you on, and that you can cheer on in return. Did your roomie ace an exam they were worried about, or get into their dream sorority? Make sure to acknowledge their successes — it’s a great way to bond and, of course, hype each other up.