how to break the ice with your new college roommate

Posted : August 1, 2012
Last Updated : July 27, 2021

how to break the ice with your new college roommate

One of the most unnerving aspects of college is meeting the person with whom you will be sharing a small dorm space. You probably have a million concerns and questions about meeting your new roommate. Will he/she like me? What will we talk about? What if we don't have anything in common? Fear not. This first-time meeting doesn't have to be as awkward as what you are picturing in your head. Here are some suggestions on how to break the ice with your new college roommate.

Connect on social media.

Most colleges send out roommate assignments sometime over the summer. In order to ease the awkwardness on move-in day, add your new roommate on social media and send a message introducing yourself. Give a little history about yourself and talk about how excited you are to start college. This is also a great time to determine who will bring the big items, such as a microwave, refrigerator, TV, etc. If you want to coordinate your dorm room with your roommate, you can also message about decorating themes and organization ideas

Pick up the phone.

Social media is a good starting place for breaking the ice with your new roommate, but if you want a little more interaction before move-in day, you should make a phone call. The more personal interactions you have before move-in day, the more comfortable you will be with one another. Having that initial phone conversation will also make it easier for you to text questions if the need arises, such as when you are out shopping for dorm d├ęcor and supplies.

Smile and be nice.

Once move-in day arrives, it's important to have a good attitude. People who smile and are friendly are much more approachable than those who appear irritated. So even if everything is going wrong while moving in, try to smile your way through the day. This simple step should help ease any nerves or tension between you and your roommate on the big day.

Ask questions.

The best conversationalists are those who ask questions and really listen to the answers. By asking your new roommate questions about his/her life, you will learn common interests, thus bringing a new opportunity to get to know each other better by sharing those interests together. The best approach is to ask a few general questions. After that, you can branch off to a more interesting topic to discover more mutual likes and dislikes. Some good conversation starters are:

  • What high school did you attend?
  • Which majors are you considering?
  • What book inspires you?
  • What type of music do you listen to?
  • What are your favorite TV shows?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What are your favorite restaurants?
  • What clubs are you planning to join this year?
  • What are your top five favorite movies?

Focus on setting up your dorm room.

Even if you find that you don't share a lot of common interests, you do have one thing in common: organizing and decorating your dorm room. Discuss the best placement for furniture. Offer to help unpack his/her boxes. Work together to hang posters, pictures, etc. Offer suggestions on organization strategies. Helping each other out while you create a comfortable living space will definitely help break the ice and make for a less awkward move-in day.

Invite your roommate to explore the campus with you.

Your new roommate is in the same boat as you. Both of you are just starting college and everything is new! Invite your roommate to walk around the residence hall with you to meet new people. Go try some new restaurants on or around campus. Check out the activities happening on campus, such as movies, programs, work-outs, etc. By going out and exploring the campus together, you will bond over new places, faces, and ideas.

The first-step to developing a positive roommate relationship is getting to know a little more about him or her. Hopefully, these tips will help you break the ice so you can form a bond and friendship with your new roommate. For more tips on building and maintaining a good relationship with your roommate, read Roommate Matchmaking.


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