Getting Along with Your Freshman Roommate - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
October 30, 2015

Getting Along with Your Freshman Roommate

One of the scariest—and most exciting—things about college is finding out who your roommate will be for your freshman year. Your first year, most colleges assign you a roommate (you aren’t allowed to pick). There’s a chance that you will find certain habits and quirks your roommate has to be annoying, or discover that you (a night owl) are frustrated when your roommate (a morning person) tries to have conversations with you while you’re getting ready for that 8 a.m. lecture. Here are a few things you should avoid doing, followed by things you should do to make life a little easier for everyone.

Do Not: Make rules. The last thing someone wants on their first day of “freedom” is to be told what they can and cannot do, especially if it’s coming from someone they have to live with for eight months. Setting hard rules isn’t the best way to go about it, because somewhere down the line, you will have conflicting ideas of what the “rule” should be.

Do: Make compromises. Talk things out with your roommate and address areas of concern. If your roommate likes to have people over but you’re more introverted, talk with them about when a good time for them to have guests over will be. If your roommate goes to bed early and you like to blast the latest One Direction album at midnight, see if there’s a way to compromise.

Do Not: Bring people into your room without telling them first. A lot of the time, a college dorm room is seen as a place to escape after a hard day of work or classes. It’s extremely unsettling to walk in and find people sitting on your pillows; it’s even worse if they’re strangers. Not only does your roommate now have to wash all of the bedding, but he or she also has to find a spur-of-the-moment place to retreat.

Do: Let them know in advance about guests. Even just a quick text message 15 minutes before your guest arrives gives your roommate some warning. Bonus points if you let them know in advance about someone from the opposite gender coming over during open hours.

Do Not: Get too clingy with your roommate. Everyone needs space. Sometimes people eat dinner with their roommate every day only because they’re afraid of eating alone. DON’T BE THAT PERSON. Give your roommate space and time to hang out with their other friends. Trust me. You live together; you’ll see enough of each other by the end of the semester.

Do: Have a roommate ritual you both can appreciate. Whether it’s running to Taco Bell on Saturday afternoons or watching How I Met Your Mother re-runs while doing homework, find something that you and your roommate can do together every now and then as a way to spend time together and (hopefully) bond a little bit. 


Mikayla Covington '16

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