New Semester, New Roomie: How to Adjust to Getting a New Roommate Mid-Year

By Kailey Walters

With the start of the new semester fast approaching, there are bound to be a few new changes that await you in this new year. One of them might be that you’re getting a new roommate, which could happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe you and your previous roommate didn’t get along very well and mutually agreed to switch. Perhaps you’re going back to campus, but your former roommate has opted to stay at home for the new semester, which leaves a spot open in your dorm. Whatever the case may be, adjusting to a new roommate mid-year might not always be the easiest thing to do — but there are a few ways you can get used to this new roommate and handle the situation well.

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Be open and welcoming.

When you’re first getting to know your new roommate, it’s important that you maintain an open and welcoming attitude toward them. Whether you’re moving into someone else’s dorm or they are moving into yours, the principle of openness remains the same. From your first meeting with your new roommate, you’ll probably be able to gauge what kind of person they are and how interested they are in getting to know you better. From there, you can work toward forming a sort of relationship with them. Of course, this process will work most smoothly if you show with your body language and behavior that you’re very open to getting to know them. So don’t hide yourself away or let yourself become isolated; be as approachable and friendly as possible so that they feel comfortable talking to you.

Try to become friends.

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Once you and your roommate have established some sort of relationship with each other, you can work toward becoming friends. Perhaps it may be a bit disorienting to try to make another new friend in the middle of the school year, especially if you already have an established group of friends, but chances are that it’s not as hard as you think. You two will likely spend a decent amount of time together, so you’ll have plenty of natural opportunities to get to know each other better, talk more, and potentially make plans to hang out.

Of course, if you’re trying your best to become friends with your roommate but it’s not really working out, you don’t have to push it. You’re not meant to become friends with everyone you meet, so it’s not a big deal. As long as you and your roommate are able to maintain a decently civil relationship while you’re living together, that’s the most important thing.

Set boundaries.

As with any roommate relationship, it’s important that you both set boundaries and expectations. Discuss with your roommate what you are comfortable sharing, what chores and responsibilities you each want to have, and anything else that needs to be established in order for your roommate relationship to function well. It may also be helpful to know if either of you is comfortable with having friends over (including how many and at what times of day or night), what time you both wake up and go to sleep, what your class schedules are, and whether you prefer to study and do work in the room or elsewhere, such as the library. Knowing these things can only help your relationship with your roommate, as you will both have clear boundaries and know what to expect from each other.

Plan time to hang out with each other.

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If you and your roommate happen to hit it off, you may want to plan some time to hang out with each other. Intentionally spending time together can help you both adjust to being roommates with one another. The time hanging out will give you the chance to become better friends in a natural setting and do fun things together. It also can be helpful to find some common interests that the two of you share. Perhaps you both love watching the same TV show, or you have similar hobbies like playing badminton. You can use these common interests to find something fun and entertaining for both of you to do.

Have a form of conflict resolution.

Even if you and your roommate get along fairly well, there is still the possibility that you two could end up having a conflict of some sort, which means it’s necessary to have a form of conflict resolution in place. You and your roommate should have a smart, level-headed discussion about the issue so that nobody blows anything out of proportion and so you can come to a reasonable solution.

Adjusting to having a new roommate, even in the middle of the year, doesn’t have to be overly complicated or stressful. Make sure that you maintain a friendly, open posture and work on developing a good relationship with your roommate!

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