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Goodbye, Awkward Small Talk: 5 Ways to Get to Know Your Roommate

The weeks leading up to move-in day with your new roomie can only be described as a unique type of honeymoon phase. You’re swapping décor ideas from Pinterest, sending cute ‘Gm streaks’ Snapchats and exchanging only your very best stories from high school to slyly gauge each other’s partying habits. However, only when you start sharing a shoebox-sized bedroom for nine months do you really know who they are. To speed up the process of deciding whether to become BFFS or just politely coexist, here are some fresh takes to really get to know your roommate. 

  1. Spotify Swap

A person’s music taste speaks absolute volumes about what they’re really thinking, feeling, or vibing to, and provides an overall summary of what’s really good. Offer to create a playlist for your roommate consisting of your favorite bops and vice versa via Spotify (or Apple Music if you’re still on that wave…tragic). You’ll gather a general sense of their energy and style and compare it to your own. Obviously, a friendship won’t be completely determined by whether or not you’re into the same type of music, but the exchange acts as a unique ice breaker and solid starting point. If your top song is WAP while theirs is Chicken Fried, having such information could be crucial to relationship growth.

  1. Go Out And Do Something Fun Together (Besides Partying or Dinner)

Someone’s true personality shines through when they’re making an utter fool of themselves. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Go bowling with your roommate and see if they’re the competitive type, or if they’re proudly rolling gutter ball after gutter ball. Maybe try ice skating and take note of whether or not they’re afraid to fall on their ass in front of 12-year-old kids. Surfing, skiing, rock climbing— the list of possibilities goes on and on. Get comfortable around one another in ways other than conversation. Once you’ve seen someone clumsily eating sh-t on the slopes or catching waves, there’s a bond like no other.

  1. Hijack Their Tinder

Obviously, dating apps won’t apply to everyone, but if the opportunity stands, seize the day, ladies and gentlemen. Swap your Tinder or Bumble accounts (or any of the hundreds of other apps because we don’t judge) and swipe around for them, message their matches and just mess around with one another. You can even make a game of who can send the cringiest yet creative pick-up lines, and whoever has the worse one drinks. A true 21st-century bonding experience, but very hilarious nonetheless.

  1. Invest In We’re Not Really Strangers

The card set of unique, thought-provoking questions to ask your friends and family recently blew up on TikTok, and I think is the perfect way to dig a little deeper with your roomie. The cards are split into three levels of questions: perception, connection and reflection. If you don’t want to get too intimate, stick to the perception cards, with questions like ‘what shows do you think I binge-watch’ or ‘what do you think I’m most likely to splurge on’ and save the next two sets for a later date. You can go deeper into the game when/if your relationship grows. But in the beginning, just reflect on why they think your favorite movie would be Mean Girls or why you’re most likely to splurge on concert tickets (these may or may not have been answers I’ve gotten about myself).

  1. Just Be Yourself (Cheesy, But True)

You’re checking out their music taste, analyzing their card game responses, observing their little habits and occasionally ransacking their Tinder DMs in order to get to know them. But remember— they’re doing the same to you, too. To really know if the roommate vibes link up, you cannot advertise yourself as someone other than…well, yourself. In a closet-sized bedroom where you practically live one top of the other, the truth of your personality and character will surface sooner rather than later, so just keep it real right off the bat. Your college experience will be so much more enjoyable if you just remember to stay true to yourself because your true friends start to stick around. Happy dorming!

McKenna is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington but is originally from Santa Monica, California. She is majoring in English and minoring in Law, Justice, and Societies. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her cat, shopping, ordering Postmates, and listening to The Spins by Mac Miller on repeat.
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