Going Random? 5 Things to Keep in Mind when Meeting your Roommate!

My freshman year I chose to not live with someone I already knew and went random. I thought it would be a good experience and a good chance to get to know someone new, but I have to admit the summer before I was also pretty worried. I think Leighton Meester is to blame for that... But I really didn't have a reason to be so nervous! My freshman roommate experience turned out to be really awesome! I was put with someone totally normal and we had a lot in common and ended up being good friends! Plus I couldn't have asked for better floor mates! I feel so lucky to have had a freshman experience that included hanging out with my friends from my floor so much, watching the basketball games together, studying together, and ordering Baked in the middle of the night! Yum! But before you can start creating lasting memories, you have to first get over the initial awkwardness of being assigned a random roommate.

1. Keep an Open Mind!

So once we find out who our random roommates are, we all try to find them online and the incessant FB stalking begins...

In a sense, Facebook stalking has its advantages. It's nice to see what your roommate likes to do and if you have anything in common.

But! Keep in mind that you can't always judge a person's entire personality based on their profile! You don't want to develop an opinion on someone before you've even met them in person.

Not to mention, stalking is super awkward. You wouldn't want to get to know them too well before you actually meet them or else you may find yourself mentioning some random fact about your roommate that they hadn't told you yet, revealing yourself as a creepy Facebook stalker.

So just try to remember that reading about someone on their profile is not the same as meeting them, and what you read about them or see in their photos is only a glimpse into what he or she is like.

2. Stay Positive!

Happiness is a state of mind. If you go into meeting your new roommate with a positive attitude, chances are things will turn out much better than if you go into the situation with a negative attitude that's really just full of worries and assumptions.

Try to find something in common. Even if you have entirely different interests, there's bound to be something you can bond over. Doesn't everyone love food? If not, maybe you two are the kinds of roommates who love working out. Or you both love coffee. There's gotta be something.

3. Communicate Before You Meet

RPS provides you with your future roommates' phone number and e-mail address. It's a great idea to get in touch with each other so you can begin to introduce yourselves. ALSO this is the time to work out who is bringing the fridge, the microwave, the fans, any large furniture, AC installation if applicable, a TV if you want, and anything else for the dorm!

4. Talk About Your Habits

When you meet your new roommate, you'll be required to fill out a roommate agreement from your RA. This will bring up questions like: do you tend to be neat or messy, where and when do you like to study, etc. I don't think you necessarily have to make rigid rules (you're not allowed to have the lights on past 11 or I will go tell the RA!!!) if you just agree to respect each other and communicate openly. But this is a great time to let your roommate know if you have any habits or how you plan on living. Do you snore? Are you a morning person or a night person? What are your thoughts on sharing food? Sharing clothes? What does your schedule look like?

5. Open Communication Policy Based on RESPECT

I think a big reason my roommate and I got along so well was because we were both very open about how we wanted to live together and about our habits. We didn't necessarily make rules but instead agreed to an open communication policy. There is nothing I can stress more than agreeing to be honest and respectful with your roommate! Agreeing to communicate respectfully about problems when they come up is such a huge umbrella-effect to solve basically any issue! For example: me listening to music bothers my roommate when she's trying to study or take a nap so I put in my headphones.

See: The Secret to Being a Good Roommate. She says it all!

Check out these other articles about IU Roommates!

My roommate and me!

Thanks for reading, Hoosiers!

About The Author
Anne RileyAnthropology Major, Tutor, Volunteer, Class of 2016

I'm in the class of 2016, I'm from Greenwood, IN, and I'm majoring in anthropology with minors in Spanish and geography at Indiana University! I am most interested in studying biological anthropology and archaeology. Last summer I went on my first archaeological dig, 6 weeks of backcountry camping in Yellowstone National Park - it was awesome!

I am a member for IU's chapter of Global Brigades where I am a part of the Water Brigade - over spring break we went to Honduras to build sustainable water collection and filtration systems to bring clean water to rural communities that don't currently have access to safe water. This year we are planning another brigade to Ghana in May!

I intern in the Anthropology Department's Zooarchaeology Lab (zooarchaeology = zoo + archaeology = animal bones). My goal for future semesters is to also have a museum internship. I also work as a tutor with the writing center, Writing Tutorial Services (WTS). I am a musician as well and have played flute in the All-Campus Band; although I also play piano and saxophone. And of course, I am a student blogger for WeAreIU.com!

I also love:

  • Indiana basketball
  • the SRSC
  • indie rock music
  • travel
  • Pizza X
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • long walks on sandy beaches

I'm psyched to share my experiences and advice! Thanks for reading and GO HOOSIERS!