The Freshman Experience: Tips & Tricks for Meeting the Roommate

Meeting your college roomie for the first time? You'll want to read our tips & tricks for making a good first impression.
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Meeting your college roomie for the first time? You'll want to read our tips & tricks for making a good first impression.
Laughing roommates

College roommates | Credit: iStockPhoto.com

As the school year approaches, incoming freshman are beginning to receive super exciting news: housing and roommate information.

At Northeastern, we were fortunate to get our housing info in June, but most schools wait until late July or early August to release this information. This means that by now, the majority of incoming college girls have already had time to stress about their future roommate. A few common worries: Will I like her? Will we have things in common? Is she going to be crazy?!?!

No incoming freshman needs this unnecessary anxiety in her life. After all, we have plenty of other worries (classes? books? fall fashion?) in our lives!

Because I was lucky enough to already meet my roommate at orientation, I wanted to share my experience and give some advice so as to help relieve your stress! I hope that by sharing my experience, you will have an easy, stress-free, and exciting time meeting your roommate. Read on for my top tips for successful roommate meetings.

Online Introductions

In today's world of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Google+, there is a good chance that you will be able to get a glimpse into your roommate's life before you even see her face. Once receiving their roommate's contact information, nearly every girl's first plan of attack is the same: Facebook stalking!

But be careful when Facebook stalking: It's easy to form preconceived notions after scrolling through a few pictures and reading a couple status updates. If you plan on scouring your future roomie's Facebook, keep an open mind. If you find yourself starting to form those perceptions, take a break and stop until you get to know her better. An online profile is not always an accurate portrayal of a person's personality; don't assume that you know everything about her after going online.

On the flip side, it's important to remember that your future roommate will be looking you up, too. Do you have inappropriate comments that you would rather her not see? Pictures that would embarrass you? Take a good look at your own profile and decide whether or not you are "you" online.

Remember: while you cannot erase your past, college is a time to reinvent yourself. Clean up your profile and create a good starting point for the rest of your life.

First Conversations

These days, it's easier than ever to have a conversation with your future roomie. My first interaction with my roommate was over e-mail. We got our housing information and e-mailed back and forth before finding each other on Facebook. Then we chatted for a while. Then we sent messages about decorating our dorm and exchanged telephone numbers. Then we texted. We did all this before even meeting each other in person!

No matter what medium you choose for your first conversation with your roomie, there are a few things to remember:

  • Be friendly. This may seem like a "duh!" for most girls, but it is surprising how many people forget how to be friendly when they become nervous. Remember that this is a nerve wracking experience for all parties involved. At first, nobody cares what song you listen to on repeat or where you like to shop. Your roommate is just hoping for a smile, some enthusiasm, and the ability to socialize with you. After your initial introductions, you can breathe and talk about your hobbies.
  • Don't get over-excited. Meeting a roommate is an exciting time! This is the girl that you'll be living with for the next nine months! Everyone is excited. But make sure not to be that girl - you know who I'm talking about: The in-your-face, never-stops-texting, super-excitable nutjob. It's okay to talk periodically and show your excitement, but make sure you don't scare off your future roommate.
  • There is such a thing as TMI. It's perfectly natural for there to be some mystery between you and your roommate when you first meet. Just because you are sharing space doesn't mean that you need to share all your deepest, darkest secrets right off the bat! You don't need to know everything about your roommate before you move in, so don't rush! Let the relationship develop naturally.

In-Person Meetings

While you'll likely be able to chat with your roommate online or over the phone before you move in, most girls don't get the chance to meet their roomies until move-in day. As scary as this might seem, in my experience, it was a welcome relief to finally meet in person.

When I was at orientation, I got a text from my roommate (whom I had yet to meet) telling me where she was. It turned out we were in the same room so I stood up and looked around. When we made eye contact, we immediately smiled, hugged, and felt at ease. Even if you are meeting her for the first time, your roommate is going to be a familiar face and a welcoming sight. Relax, take a breath, and fun with your new friend!

More Freshman Year Tips, Experiences, and Advice

This article is part of our Freshman Experience series. For more, see: 8 Week Countdown, College Orientation, Dorm Room Shopping Tips, First Semester Goals, College Packing List, Getting Involved on Campus, 4 Ways to Ease Midterm Stress, College Misconceptions & Ask a Freshman, Freshman Year Questions - Answered, Thanksgiving Break Essentials, Tackling Holiday Shopping in College, First Semester Goals Revisited, and Final Thoughts.

Your turn!

I already got to meet my roommate and I am so excited for this upcoming year. Now I want to hear about YOUR experience. Incoming freshmen, what has your housing situation been like? Have you met your roommate or connected in some way? Do you have any tips for girls waiting to meet their roommates? Tell us below!

Veteran college girls, do you have any fun roommate stories for us? Tips on how to make a good first impression? Make sure to leave your thoughts in a comment.