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The Ultimate Roommate Guide to Strong Connections 

Going to college, locating a place to live, and finding a new roommate can be very exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. You probably know roommates can be some of the best or worst people you know. But here at Collegeboxes, we want to ensure you get the best roommate experience possible and make the most out of your living situation. That’s why we have created a guide to maximize your experience. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Roommate

The first step in having a roommate is choosing the right one, as having someone with a similar lifestyle can make having a roommate much more enjoyable. 

In many dorm room cases, universities will send out housing applications that ask a few questions regarding your lifestyle and introduce yourself to find potential new roommates. This can include sleep schedules, study habits, comfort with guests, and much more. The key to these applications is to be honest, about yourself and your lifestyle. Being honest on these forms will drastically help you find a roommate that you mesh with and make the transition easier. 

Step 2: Get to Know Your Roommate

This may sound obvious, but be sure to get to know your roommate. Talk to them to see if you share similar experiences or hobbies. You might find you have more in common with them than you thought. Getting to know them early on will help cultivate a healthy relationship and make things less awkward in the future. 

Potential Roommate Questions:

  1. Where are you from? 
  2. What’s your major?
  3. What made you choose this university
  4. What do you like to do in your free time
  5. What are you most looking forward to in college? 
  6. What kind of music or TV shows do you like? 
  7. Is there anywhere you want to visit when we arrive on campus? 
  8. Are there any clubs you are considering joining? 

Step 3: Set Expectations 

A great thing to do at the start is to set ground rules and expectations with your roommate. This can help you and your roommate understand each other’s boundaries. Have conversations about what items can be shared, when quiet hours are, guest policy, and the level of cleanliness of the living space. Setting these expectations can help avoid headaches in the future. 

Most universities have roommates create and sign roommate agreements to set these ground rules. 

Step 4: Take the Steps to Build a Strong Relationship

Clear communication and mutual respect will help you and your roommate foster a positive, friendly, and enjoyable relationship. 

Communication is key with your roommate; consistent communication will help make sure no unwanted surprises happen. This could be notifying your roommate that you have an exam the next day and need the room quiet for a couple of hours to study. Communication will help you and your roommate understand each other’s needs. 

Communication is a two-way street that requires active listening. Make sure to listen to your roommate and understand their perspectives and needs. A healthy amount of communication will help ensure both you and your roommate’s needs are heard. 

Show respect to your roommate and the space you share with them. Respect their privacy. Always knock before you enter or shoot a text. Keep noise levels at a minimum and do your fair share of cleaning. If you respect them, it will most likely be reciprocated, and a healthy relationship will blossom. 

Step 5: Learn to Resolve Conflicts 

Problems may and most likely will arise, and that’s okay; no roommate is perfect. Just make sure to address these problems or conflicts immediately.

When a conflict occurs, the worst thing that can happen is bottled up feelings and passive-aggressive behavior. Not expressing your dissatisfaction can lead to bigger problems down the road. Nipping the problem in the bud is the best way to handle these problems and move forward. 

The roommate agreement is a great tool to use for conflicts, as it is physical evidence of the agreement you and your roommate made with each other. Something you can always point to if problems arise and keep yourself and your roommate accountable. 

Finding Solutions: Work together to find mutually beneficial solutions and resolve these conflicts. This will help both you and your roommate understand each other’s perspectives and feelings. If both of you work on the solution together, it will also lead to a solution that works for both of you. 

Be Willing to Learn: Learn from the experience and grow from it. Something worse than a roommate conflict is repeated roommate conflict. When a conflict happens, make sure to learn from it and respect the agreed-upon solution to have a better year down the road. 

Step 6: Make it Fun

Find common hobbies or activities to enjoy with your roommate. This could be anything from studying together, going out to eat, working out together, joining an intramural league, playing video games, etc. Doing activities with your roommate outside the room can help you get to know them and enjoy the college experience. 

With the uncertainty of getting to know your roommate ahead, why not start on the right foot and make the transition easier for both of you? Let your roommate know about the Collegeboxes Ship to School service. This service will allow both you and your roommate to pack your items at home, ship items, and have Collegeboxes deliver them to your dorm room. With moving day taken care of, you can spend the day getting to know your roommate!