In college, it is all about stepping outside your comfort zone and tackling some new experiences. You attend various classes and sometimes balance a part-time job on top of it. One of the possibly awkward aspects of college is learning to live with a stranger. When you do not get to pick your roommate in college sometimes it can be difficult to know how to start to get acquainted. Here are five simple ways to learn more about each other.
1. Have meals together.
For the same reasons that families try to have at least one meal together per day, you should try to socialize with your college roommate by sharing a common meal. This can sometimes prove problematic based on differing class and work schedules. If you can’t manage to do this every night, try for at least a few nights a week. You can learn a lot about your roommate based on things as simple as noting their food choices or as complex as what they are learning about in their coursework that day.
2. Go out together.
Often in college you may find that you want as much “me time” as possible when you already live with someone most of the time. But you can get to know your roommate a lot better if you go out and do something together with them occasionally. Visit the local park and study there. Grab a bite to eat at a local campus restaurant. See a movie together. There are many activities you can do along with your roommate, or even in a group setting, that will help you to get comfortable around each other and out of the dorm setting a bit too.
3. Talk about what you are studying in college together.
In college, you are going to be faced with a lot of studying. This is just a reality. Even if you and your roommate are not in the same field, it may help both of you to show at least a bit of interest in each others’ classes. You might learn something interesting about a topic you would otherwise have not covered yourself. It does help when you and your roommate are taking similar courses, but you should try to talk about what you are focusing on and show an interest in your roommate’s academic focus as well. You can learn a lot about someone from what they are studying the most.
4. Attend college gatherings together.
In these types of settings you will most likely be able to socialize with your roommate’s friends and get to see another side of them. You can observe how they interact with their friends in a non-academic setting and see a whole other side to your roommate. It is important to see multiple sides of how a person interacts to really get a full picture on what type of person they are. From this you can determine how compatible you both may be.
5. Google your roommate.
It may seem silly but you can use the internet to browse social networking sites and see if your roommate posts to those, and if so, what they post. This may seem a bit excessive, or even intrusive, but most companies will use the internet to check a potential employee’s background, so why not for a potential long term roommate? This tip isn’t necessary but you can learn a great deal from how someone interacts in public online. It is worth checking out what you might be getting into.
These tips for getting to know a new roommate are not simply the only things you can work on to learn more about a new person. The best way to get to know someone is talk to them and find out if you have any common ground, share any similar beliefs and morals, and learn about your roommate’s interests and topics you might otherwise not discuss with each other.