Sharing a small space with a complete stranger can seem like the most daunting thing ever at first. However, with time and effort, you can grow so much from learning to live with a roommate. Here are five things you can do to make the process just a little easier by becoming closer to your roommate.
- Learn About Each Other’s Homes and Cultures
One of the things we tend to forget when we are in college is that even though we all spend most of our time hustling on campus and going through similar hardships, we don’t come from the same places. Your childhood stories matter more than you think they do -- they have shaped who you are today. So, instead of asking your roommate about her midterms, try getting to know more about her home and maybe even her culture if she is from a different country than you are. Being aware of each other’s backgrounds will help you understand each other a lot better. Plus, it’s easy to bond over funny moments from high school. My roommate and I were both international students and our favorite conversations were about our home countries. We once even went on Google Earth to show each other what our houses looked like! The bottom line is that knowing more about each other’s past will help you feel closer to each other and get over your homesickness in no time.
- Spend Time Together Outside of the Room
Showing your roommate that you’re willing to spend time with her outside of the dorm, just because you want to get to know her better, makes a big difference. So, try and invite her to grab a cup of coffee or go to the movies from time to time!
- Give Her Some Space
In college, you are constantly surrounded by people, but when you come home to your dorm and crave some alone time, it can be hard to ask your roommate to leave. Make things easier for the two of you by trying to get out of the room from time to time, especially if you or your roommate is an introvert and needs alone time to recharge properly. If your roommate had a really bad day and doesn’t seem to want to talk, you might want to go get some food or study in a lounge to give her some space.
- Come Home with a Small Gift
Little gestures go a long way in showing someone that you care for them. It’s hard to make gifts as a broke college student, but if you can afford to, try to come with a small bag of candy or an inexpensive lipstick for your roommate. You can even write a nice note on a post-it to go with it!
- Go to Free Events Together
One thing you might forget to consider when asking your roommates to make plans with you is money. Going shopping on Newbury Street might sound fun to you, but to her, it might just mean that she has to blow her monthly budget in order to hang out with you. If you know you and your roommate don’t have the same means, suggest going to free events together. This way, you won’t have to make your roommate choose between you and her hard-earned money. If you go to college in a big city, it’s really easy to find some free art galleries or to visit a neighborhood for an afternoon.