Breaking the ice with your roommate

Roommates will make or break your time living on campus, you should make the most of it . . . or else



Learn how to talk and compromise with your roommate, not barracade yourself from them.

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen columnist

So, you have a roommate. A stranger in your new space away from the eye of your parents, who will most likely see you naked. They will either be completely disgusted or turned on by seeing you naked; there is no in-between. You will be living with them for at least a semester, so here are a couple tips to keep you and your roommate on good terms.

Keep yourself and your space clean

This point is imperative, as your roommate will be driven mad if you constantly have flies and pestilence orbiting your body. For example, a floor mate of mine had a roommate that would never clean his feet or his shoes, which surrounded the space in a stench of dead flesh.

With my roommate Cole, smell wasn’t a big issue but physical messes were. Cole and I regularly had some form of clothing or garbage covering the floor, and what we agreed on was to keep our mess off of our limited floor space and on each other’s sides of the room instead. That doesn’t sound like much, but not only did we avoid major arguments, we kept the space open for when we had people over.

Set limits, especially with each other’s stuff

One of the most critical things that Cole and I had an understanding of was his PlayStation. Although it was his console, Cole and I reached a very wonderful agreement over sharing it and understanding when to turn it off, so I could get some sleep, especially because the TV had a bright screen that would light up the room.

So, Cole and I talked it out, and even though he was playing with his friends, Cole agreed to get off his console when I asked him to. This was something we worked out and it helped us stay on track with each other.

Play games and find things to do together

The main thing you must do is propose ideas and try to get to know each other. The more you and your roommate do together, the more you will learn about each other and be able to work things out. This is ultimately going to make living with each other much better. In my case, since Cole and I were equipped with gaming systems, we would play games together.

Want somewhere to start? Try some word games. A favorite of mine is “Movie Titles That Could Be Sexual,” where sexual is defined as “porn movie titles” or “names for genitals.”

Talk to each other

So, you have this thing called a mouth. It can make these sounds called words, some of which you are reading right now. So put down the phone, the paper or any other distraction, and talk with your roommate.

Everything that I have written here – the agreements Cole and I worked out, and some of the things we did – were so we didn’t make each other miserable in the one space we had to relax. You are an adult, which means that you need to communicate. The issues that you have with your roommate aren’t going to disappear. You need to work to solve them.

There you have it – some of the best ways to break the ice and get on good terms with your roommate and stay there. Not every single relationship will work out for the best, and it might be more armistice than domesticity. However, they will be the person that throughout your first semester here, you will most likely see the most of.

So, put your best foot forward and start the conversation to make this relationship work. If all else fails, then talk to your hall’s residential education director and see if you can get a new roommate because yours might be broken.