Besides worrying about being able to keep up with classes and fending for yourself for the first time, one of the biggest worries of heading off to college is always how you will get along with your roommate. This is completely understandable considering that you will be spending plenty of time in close-quarters with each other while you both go through the stresses of schoolwork.

One important thing is to remember that they are likely just as nervous as you are about entering into new student housing programs. But for a little extra assurance that you will be able to live peacefully with whatever roommate is assigned to you, here are a few tips.

  1. Stay open minded: With an estimated 50,444 people living in student housing programs just in 2012 according to Census data, you could end up being matched with any type of person you could possibly imagine. However, pre-judgments from looking up their social networks and searching for their interests can lead to misconceptions about the person and affect how you treat them in the long-run. Opening up a dialogue and allowing them to describe themselves can give you a much better idea of their personality.
  2. Make an Effort: If the first time you speak with your roommate is on move in day, things could get awkward at first. Taking the initiative to send a friendly email ahead of time can be a great way to break the ice. A great conversation starter is organizing what you both should bring, such as appliances or even video game systems. Who can’t bond over a long night of video games?
  3. Boundaries: It’s important to voice any personal boundaries you may have with a new roommate before they have to find out the hard way. And vice-versa: maybe ask them if they have any pet peeves or social no-no’s. But doing so in a respectful manner is key to building a good relationship with a roommate.

While a good chunk of college students may opt for off campus student housing for the sake of privacy, there aren’t many better social opportunities to build a close group of friends than living in student housing programs. Everyone is in the same boat and on the hunt for new friends.