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5 Tips for First Time Roommates

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Sewanee chapter.

One of the most defining aspects of beginning your college career is having a roommate.. We all waited in anticipation for the email informing us of the identity of our freshman roommate and dorm. For some, we found our best friend; for others, we found out just how annoying a person can truly be. For many of us, having a roommate is a completely new and different experience, which can be exciting and frightening at the same time. Below are some helpful tips to guide you through living successfully with a roommate for the first time:

1. Be up front with ground rules, pet peeves, etc. in the beginning

 Does she want to lock the all the time? What’s the system for when you have a boy over? Does she study in the room or at the library? Is she a night owl or an early bird? A party animal or a hermit? These are important things to find out immediately upon moving in so that no lines are crossed at the beginning of your time living together. 


2. Confrontation

No one likes confrontation. It’s uncomfortable and awkward. But, sometimes, having a roommate means having some tough conversations. If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell her right away nicely and impassive. This way you avoid letting tension build up; thus, saving your roommate relationship from further strain.



3. Remember that you roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend.

Yes, you live together. This does not mean that you are bound to be inseparable, lifelong best friends. It’s perfectly okay for you two to live peacefully together without spending every second together outside of the dorm. Of course, if your roommate happens to turn out to be your BFF, that’s good too


4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

You now share a space with another human being who has feelings and emotions. Make sure to take that into consideration in your dorm life. If you have an 8 am and your roomie is still asleep, be sure to lay out your clothes before you go to sleep so that you don’t wake her up opening and closing the drawers. Just think about what might upset you and give your roommate the same respect to avoid tension.


5. Don’t expect smooth sailing 24/7, but enjoy it!!

Having a roommate for the first time is exciting/scary and one of the most memorable experiences a college student can have. You may end up being best friends, or you may not. There will be plenty of laughs, tears, and good times. However, there will be some bumps in the road. These are normal and nothing to go crazy over. It’s important to let the little things go because none of us are perfect!! Most importantly—enjoy your first roommate. She will always be a vital part of your college experience whether you live together one semester, one year, or all four years!!