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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Laughing roommates

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.

Related reading: 15 Items to Share With Your Roommates in College

Online Introductions

Woman on computer

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.

Also read: How to Dress for a Teacher Conference or Advisor Meeting

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

College roomies

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.

5 thoughts on “The Freshman Experience: Tips & Tricks for Meeting the Roommate”

  1. Roommate Tip: 1st step with roommates = get a Hand Bidet Sprayer. With these you don’t really need Toilet Paper anymore so you’ll save allot of money, no fighting over who used the last of it and you’ll never run out. Oh and you’ll all be cleaner too!

  2. Hi incoming Freshmen!
    I am a Sophomore and have just finished the whole freshman year.

    To be honest it was very hard for me. I am from California and going to school in Pennsylvania. So I never met my roommate before move in day. We talked online and messaged each other about decorations and bedding and who was going to bring what. Our school actually made the freshman sign contracts regarding what we were comfortable sharing, general time we were going to sleep, who and when people where allowed over, etc. and you had to sit in the RA’s room and talk about it together with your roommate before you each signed it.

    The problem I had was my roommate loved to party. She would drink on school nights and the weekend. Some nights her friends had to help her back to the room and into bed then left, while she kept getting sick in the room and causing me to stay awake and make sure she was okay. she generally didn’t come back before 2am but was normally stumbling in very loud at 4am. Eventually she only started coming back to get her stuff to shower and change, then left. By Thanksgiving she barley slept in the room 1 to 2 nights a week. She then ignored me and only went to the room when I wasn’t there. So I just kept an eye on my stuff and made sure nothing was missing.

    So you don’t have to be friends with your roommate, once she started sleeping in a different room it was like I had a single. This year I my roommate was a girl who lived on my floor last year and she is from Spain. We talked a bit in the hallways and would stop by some times, we are not best friends, but I think it will work out much better she is very school oriented and knows when to separate partying and school work. I think everything will work out well this year, I’m excited to start a new year with a new roommate.

    Good Luck to all the Freshmen and other people with new roommates! I hope everything works out for all of us!

  3. I’m an incoming freshman, and I will be living in a freshman/sophomore dorm in a four-person suite. I’m super excited, but I have no idea who my roommates will be. The university offered a roommate profiler to match you with other people, but it only matched me with one person. So I guess I’ll have to wait for a couple more months to find out who I’m living with. Eek.

  4. My roommate in my freshman year was a total slob and ultra obese. She left food wrappers all over the room and it drove me crazy!

  5. When I met my roommate last year, we got along and were both respectful and friendly, but weren’t super close at first. But then we realized we had a lot of other friends in common, especially in our house, so by the middle of second semester we had grown a lot closer through the group dynamic! We learned more about each other in the group then we did huddled on our opposite sides of the room, and now we’re going to be living together again with two other girls who were roommates! It turned out pretty awesome, and now I’m super excited to live with her again 🙂


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