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How To Be a Roommate: 5 Steps

Nervous about your future college roommate?

You aren't alone. It's totally normal to be worried about dorm life. Chances are your soon-to-be roomie probably feels the exact same way. Start your college experience off right using these tips for getting along with, well, just about anyone.


Step One: Introduce Yourself

Before you make the big move into the dorms, reach out to your roommate or roommates and exchange contact information. Move-in day can be stressful, so getting the introductions out of the way can make the transition a lot smoother.

Step Two: Establish Boundaries

Once you've moved in, sit down with your roommate or roommates and establish some ground rules. You can discuss dorm-room cleaning responsibilities, having friends over, sharing things and much more. You don't have to be bossy, but express yourself and let your roommate know how you feel.

Step Three: Ask Questions

The easiest way for you and your new college roommate or roommates to avoid conflict is to get to know each other. Talk about your likes and dislikes; it will be helpful when living in such tight quarters. You might also find some common interests.

Step Four: Talk About Problems

You're going disagree on some things, but there's no need to tell your whole dorm floor. Talk things over with your roommate first. You can always get help from your residence hall advisor (also called an RA) or residence hall coordinator if you feel uncomfortable addressing the issue alone, but don't let problems pile up and get worse. Expressing your feelings and open communication go a long way in roommate relations.

Step Five: Be Realistic

Don't approach the school year with the idea of becoming best friends with your roommate because it might not happen. There is nothing wrong with creating a lifelong bond with your college roommates, but there is also nothing wrong with just sharing a room. Respecting each other and each other's space will help you get along - and trust us, that's a pretty good deal.

Still need to find a college roommate? Not sure what kind of roommate you'll be? Get more college advice.

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