I'm gonna be honest: freshman year I was more excited about my decorating my residence hall room than basically any other part of college. I planned exactly what my room was going to look like. My mom and I had gone to Target and gotten everything that could possibly fit into Mary Nelson 218. The only thing I wasn't sure about was my roommate. When I came to MC, I didn't know anyone and I was matched with a random roommate. This is the case for many freshmen, so if you're one of them, don't stress. Here's a few ways that I learned to make the most of having a random roommate.
Talk before you move in.
MC's housing portal lets you see your roommate's profile and gives you a way to message them. My roommate and I texted back and forth to get to know each other and figure out who was bringing what. Follow each other on social media, have FaceTime dates, or try to meet up before you move in. Taking opportunities to get to know them before the semester starts will make the transition easier.
Don't assume you're going to be best friends.
Some random roommates become best friends, but most of the time, that doesn't happen. I had two different roommates freshman year. I wasn't close with either one of them, and that's ok. Coming into the semester assuming you'll be best friends with your roommate puts an unrealistic expectation on the relationship. Don't force a friendship if it's not there. First, focus on living together and getting to know one another. If a friendship grows from that, then great. If you don't end up being best friends with your roommate, that doesn't mean that you've failed.
Communicate even when it's hard.
There's going to be an adjustment period when you're sharing a room with someone you don't know. The transition will be easier if you communicate clearly from the beginning. Be mindful of your habits such as when you like to shower, how late you typically stay up, or if you like to study in the room. Some conversations may be awkward in the moment, but learning how to address conflict will only make it easier for both of you in the long run.
Sometimes it doesn't work, and that's ok.
At the end of my first semester freshman year, my roommate decided to transfer. I ended up with another random roommate for the spring semester. Other friends of mine had roommate situations that weren't the best. If your roommate situation turns out to not be the greatest, talk to your RA and see what your next steps are. Some people's personalities and living styles just don't mesh well.
Give them grace.
This is one of the most important things you can do when living with a random roommate. Whether your roommate is your best friend or just a roommate, they aren't going to be perfect. Their side of the room might be really messy, they might be loud when you're trying to study, or they might forget to take out the trash. Living with a new person isn't always going to be smooth. If something happens, address it calmly in the moment, then forgive and move on.
By the end of my freshman year, I had grown in many different ways through having a random roommate. If you end up with a random roommate, don't stress. It's easy to come into freshman year and idealize your roommate. Living with a new person teaches you many things about how you live and communicate. No matter what your roommate situation may be, view it as an opportunity to grow.
lover of throw pillows and fruit snacks.