BY: RUTH PETIT-BOIS
So now you’re living with a bunch of people you probably just met mid-August. At this point in the semester, I really hope you guys are getting along. I can tell you that college was and still is an amazing experience because of the people I lived with. The fact that I had people that I lived with who were just getting acquainted with the “First Year Residence Experience” and the college life just like I was was great as we bonded over similar struggles despite being in completely different majors.
I can say that having diverse roommates can definitely help you out by letting you glimpse into the life of a stranger. You never really know someone until you live with them after all. You can have absolutely everything in common or you could be polar opposites. But that is what makes the whole roommate thing (especially random roommate thing) really, really fun.
I want to help you out with your new living partners. I want to give you guys 5 things you can do together to have fun and get to know one another a little better. They worked (and still work) for me, and they will hopefully work for you!
1. Go eat together
Whether it is at Stingers (where you can meet up with your other awesome new friends), or at the Marietta Diner, nothing bonds two people better than eating in one another’s presence. During this meal time you can learn about each other and you can figure out what you both like to eat. You can talk about how good, or bad, the meal is and the habits of other patrons. As you probably already know, dinner is a great way to get into those very awkward silences where you’ll both be scrambling for something to say to fill in those empty spaces. While that may be a bad thing at first, soon enough you guys will stumble on topics that you both are very enthusiastic about and you’ll be having normal conversations just like normal people… Great huh?
2. Walk to class together
Do you guys leave at the same time to go to the same building or at least in the same direction? I think rather than awkwardly waiting three minutes for your roommate to leave and give you sufficiently enough time so you can walk alone, try ad switch it up and make the trek together. It beat silence and it is a great way to gripe or praise the class and teacher decisions you made earlier in the summer. Hopefully you took my advice from my “Choosing Your Classes” post from late July/early August!
3. Study together
The conference rooms were made for a reason. I know I made my very best friends by studying in the conference rooms. By having your roommate come with you to study, you can bypass the weird stage of being in a room or space by yourself and have your living buddy there with you to spark conversation. After all, let’s face it you both need to be studying for your classes regardless. Even with your roommate there, you can also make other friends as other studiers who just want to make a better grade and a new friend join your group.
4. Chat with one another
As you can see, I am commanding that you guys spend a lot of time talking with one another. How else do you expect to know one another better? Since you guys are living in the same place you guys can just make the short walk into the common room and just talk. If you have already reached a close enough point, go into one another’s rooms and resume the chat from there. It is convenient and it is also great because you don’t have to go to another room to find your social fix, you can just talk to your roommate! Another pro to connecting with your roommate now is that you can room together again next year of you don’t like change. You also don’t really have to do all these steps all over again for your new living partners.
5. Go to campus events together
Finally, I think you guys should make an effort to go campus events together. Especially if you are a part of the First Year Residence Experience (FYRE). You should make every effort to try to be a part of the events going on on campus. Your Resident Assistants work really had to organize events for you to take a step back from your studies and instead of going by yourself you can go with your roommate. This eliminates the awkward wait as you hope for your other friends to arrive because you are with your roommate and you can make a safe return to your dorm as you will probably be walking in groups of two or more.
Like I stated earlier, I really hope you and our roommates are getting along! If you aren’t, please take a look and try these steps above. They helped me and I think they can help you. As you can see, talking in a major factor in getting to know each other so if you are introverted try to break out of that shell. I promise you, the results are way worth the risk.