10 Ways to Bond With Your Roommate
For many students, going to college is the first time they have to share a room together, whether it is a dorm room or an apartment. Even if you have shared a room with a sibling, sharing a room with someone you just met can seem daunting at first. There are horror stories from students about terrible or weird roommates, and many fear that these will be true for them. However, even if you do not instantly hit it off with your roommate, there are ways for you to bond so that you can get to know each other and bond. Even if you end up not liking each other, you have to live together for the time being, so spending some time together to be on the same page is crucial to making it through. Here are a few ideas for ways to spend some quality time together while learning more about each other’s likes and interests.
Attend your campus’ club and organization fair
Many college campuses have a club and organization fair that showcases the school’s various ways to get involved on campus. Attend the fair with your roommate to allow yourselves to see what the other likes. If you find something that you are both interested in, sign up for the organization together as a way to spend more time together. If you decide to join different clubs or organizations, finding out what each of you is interested in is a way to get to know each other. Make it a point to attend one meeting or event of each other’s club if you join different organizations and support fundraisers the club is putting on to show your roommate that you care. Find out how to start your own campus organization if you are both interested in a club or organization that your campus does not offer. This process in itself will be a great way to figure out how your roommate works and will bring you closer together.
Designate one evening a week to do something special
Designate one night a week to do something special together. Make it consistently the same evening each week and honor this time commitment by not scheduling anything else during this time unless it is absolutely necessary and cannot be avoided. Having one night that is designated for spending time together gives you an opportunity to try new things together, which can help bring you closer together. It also gives you a chance to find out what your roommate likes and allows you to see what you have in common. If you like different things, it gives you a chance to experience something your roommate likes, which is a great way to show your roommate that you care and are willing to do something that you may not have done if not for them. Plan activities ahead of time so that you are sure you are committed and that you have something to look forward to.
Have a night in and order pizza or take out. Have a game night where you bring out your competitive sides. Pamper yourselves with a spa night complete with facials, nail painting, and relaxing music. Binge watch a TV show that neither of you has seen or watch each other’s favorite movie. Have a conversation about the show or movie. This will give you a chance to learn how your roommate perceives movies and will give you a new perspective of a movie you may have seen a million and one times before. Throw a party and invite your friends or floormates. This will give you a chance to meet each other’s friends and will allow you to get to know others on your floor, which is also important.
Get out of your dorm or apartment. Explore your college town by finding a locally-owned restaurant or store. Go to a concert or other cultural event. Going to a concert or play on campus is a great way to support your fellow students while spending time with your roommate. If you go to an event in your college town, make a night of it and grab dinner beforehand. Go to a sporting event. Cheer on your school’s team together or go to a professional sporting event where you are cheering for each of the teams from you and your roommate’s hometowns. Volunteering is a great way to make a difference while learning what kinds of causes your roommate cares about. A night out on the town will give you a break from the stress of college life and gives you a chance to expand your horizons.
Take a class
Taking a step out of your comfort zone to learn something new is more fun when you do it with someone, and who better to do it with than with your roommate. Whether you arrange your schedules to take a GenEd or elective class together, go to a local library to take a language class or take a fitness class together at your campus gym, learning something new together will help you bond with your roommate and will help you find a common bond, especially if you both love or hate the topic of the class. You will learn more about each other’s likes and skills as well as your own. You will also expand your horizons by learning more about the world around you. Getting out to learn something unexpected can lead you to new and beautiful things, so overcome your fear and sign up. If you do end up taking a college class together, make sure your roommate attends class and does not solely rely on you to cover and take notes if they routinely miss class.
Make playlists of your favorite songs to play for each other
Music has the power to help bring people together and a person’s choice of music can say so much about who that person is. Make a playlist of your favorite top 10 favorite songs and/or artists and have your roommate do the same. Play the playlists for each other. You may find that you have a common interest in one particular style or band. This can help fuel conversations. If you each have music that is important to your culture or religion and you include these songs, it is a great opportunity to teach your roommate something about you and to learn something from your roommate. Listening to each other’s playlist may introduce you to new music you love and will open up new doors and other friendships for you. Have a conversation with your roommate about why you each picked the songs you did and what each song means to you.
Create a bucket list for the school year
Make a list of things you want to do together this semester or year. It can be as simple as going to that hip restaurant off campus or getting better grades. You can also aim to join a new organization and do it together so that you do not feel as anxious about doing something new. Having similar goals and a common drive to accomplish them will bring you and your roommate together in ways nothing else can.
Also, create separate lists and hold each other accountable, as you are more likely to succeed if you tell others what you hope to achieve. Be a part of each other’s bucket list, even if you choose not to create a joint list. Hang the lists in a public place and have a place to publicly and visually track your progress. Create a schedule to help you stay on track with your bucket list. Help each other stay on track with your schedule and encourage each other when things get tough.
They say misery likes company, and this is especially true when you are working on schoolwork. Studying together may not seem like a big deal, especially if you are working on separate subjects or assignments, but it can really bring you and your roommate together. Just doing a common activity and holding each other accountable to stay focused is crucial. If you are working on separate assignments and one of you runs into an issue that the other is good at, you can help each other out. This helps you learn each other’s skills and shows you the other’s strengths and weaknesses. You can look over each other’s work once you are done and proofread each other’s papers. When you are working alone, it can be tempting to keep working when you need a break or get distracted when you need to focus. Studying with your roommate helps you stay focus but also helps you know when you need to take a break.
Follow each other on social media
Some people are more outgoing on social media. You may find out more about your roommate than you do in person. You can follow their social media pages to learn about what they like and who they are. If you find something about a recent trip they went on or a concert they went to, ask them about it. You may also see that you have mutual friends, depending on where you both grew up. Ask them about how they know people you know. Finding information, such as likes and mutual friends, through social media helps you find common ground with your roommate and gives you interesting talking points for great conversations.
Decorate your room together
You will be living with your roommate for at least a semester, so what better way to bond than to decorate your dorm or apartment together. Even if you have totally different tastes in style, you may be able to combine these styles into one cool look or have separate spaces for each of your styles, depending on how much room you have. Having clashing styles is easier in an apartment since you will likely have separate bedrooms, but you will have to compromise on common areas. Decorating your room together is a great way to bond as you will learn about each other’s design style as well as decorating talents. You will learn about each other’s favorite colors and personal style. A person’s interior design style can say a lot about who they are and how organized they are, which is crucial for a roommate. You can even go shopping together for anything you were unable to bring with you to the dorm or apartment.
Communicate with each other
Communication is absolutely key to any relationship, but it is even more important if you have someone you are living with. If you cannot hold a conversation because you do not get along, you need to figure out a way to put your differences aside so you can at least make it through the semester. Talking gives you an opportunity to update each other on what is going on in your lives and to coordinate schedules for things that are happening. This is especially important if your roommate will be out late one night. Exchange cell phone numbers and text each other throughout the day. You do not have to talk every second of the day, but being able to contact each other about specific issues is important in emergencies. Know each other’s schedules so you know the best time to chat. Have a conversation right before bed so that you
Create a roommate agreement
If you are a Big Bang Theory fan, you will know that Sheldon has a huge obsession with his roommate agreements and is a strict stickler for each individual rule that they contain. You also know that his roommate agreements are super long and in-depth. You do not have to go as in-depth with your agreement, though. While it is important to bond with your roommate and be friends, having a roommate agreement will help you set boundaries and delegate chores such as cleaning and doing dishes. Have a section about what to do if you and your roommate get into an argument and set boundaries for things such as sharing clothes and personal items. Set up a cooking schedule and have a place in your agreement for paying rent and other essential bills. Your agreement should also include a section on bringing significant others into the dorm or apartment and have contact information of a neutral person you should get in touch with in case of an argument about a policy. Have this person witness you and your roommate signing the agreement.
At first, you may be nervous to meet your new roommate, but if you give it some time and effort, you and your roommate may become close friends. There is a chance that you will not get along, but give it a chance and put in the work to at least get through the semester together.
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