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

Late at night, my roommates and I all sat in our dimly lit room, huddled together, and bursting into laughter as we had our first official movie night. The movie night was one of many roommate bonding activities we’ve planned and executed so far, and, like the rest of our activities, this one helped us make so many great memories and grow closer as roommates. From gym sessions to card games, to roller skating and pumpkin painting, taking a break to unwind and enjoy ourselves is always a much needed distraction from piling assignments and midterm season blues. And as I look back on our memories together as roommates, I wonder how differently my freshman experience at UC Berkeley would’ve been if I had gotten different roommates; I firmly believe your relationships with your roommates can make or break your college experience. 

It can take a lot of patience to get to know someone, but being roommates expedites the getting to know each other stage to the max. Each day we learn each other’s habits, routines, and more, and we learn to live with the other in healthy and effective ways. Upon moving in, my roommates and I asked each other a series of ice breaker questions to get to know each other. However, through simple tasks like decorating our rooms together, hearing each other’s music, and just seeing the other live their day to day lives, we came to understand each other’s personalities, preferences, and core beliefs and values. 

One of my roommates, Luna Escobar, told me that roommate relationships have a similar place in one’s life as family relationships. Just like you come home from work or school to your family, we come home from our busy lives to see each other. Having a difficult relationship with your family can create a toxic home life that negatively affects your life outside the home, and the same can be said for roommates. Therefore, understanding and connecting with one another is very important.

Some tips to grow a close relationship with your roommate is to just be open to getting to know them. Planning bonding activities such as movie nights, crafting, dinners, and shopping trips allows you to get to know each other and create fun memories. While having our movie night, I was able to learn a lot more about my roommates: their favorite movies and preferences, what snacks they eat during movies, and which movies they’ve yet to see (one of my roommates hasn’t ever watched Toy Story, which will be our next movie night!). It’s not just about the activity; something as simple as watching a movie can create an avenue for learning more about who you live with.

However, beyond getting to know each other, respecting each other’s boundaries, and having open communication is paramount in creating a healthy dorm environment. Before moving in, my roommates and I established boundaries and rules we wanted to set. Policies on guests, room organization, and quiet times for resting or sleeping are important things to consider discussing with your roommate. 

Additionally, we all established that we should be comfortable speaking up about things the other may have done to upset them. Being able to talk about issues and problems, as well as being willing to accept and listen in return, prevents issues of resentment or arguments, as it allows you and your roommates to communicate and resolve issues immediately. 

Lastly, here’s a list of fun roomie bonding activities to consider doing with your roommates:

  1. Movie Marathons 

Pick a fun list of movies to watch with your roommates! This is an ideal way to unwind and connect. Whether it’s binge-watching an entire series or enjoying a mix of genres, the shared emotional journey of a movie can spark discussions and inside jokes that resonate beyond the screen.

  1. Game Nights 

Whether it’s classic board games like Monopoly or strategic challenges like Settlers of Catan, the laughter and competition create lasting memories, fostering a sense of camaraderie. My personal card game recommendation would be We’re Not Really Strangers. Playing this with my roommates was a fun, yet revealing, experience, and we got to learn a lot more about how we perceived each other by answering a series of interesting questions.

  1. Crafting 

Engaging in fun crafting activities is a perfect roommate activity. You could create cute decorations for your shared room or gifts for one another. The shared effort in bringing an idea to life strengthens the bond among roommates.

  1.  Exploring Your City

Venturing out together to explore the city unveils hidden gems and fosters a sense of unity. Discovering new cafes, landmarks, or cultural events provides roommates with shared experiences and stories to treasure.

Tsola Bemigho

UC Berkeley '27

Tsola is a freshman at University of California, Berkeley majoring in film and media. She’s a shopaholic, avid reader, and movie buff who’s passionate about writing to empower college women everywhere.