Thinking back to my first year at Salem State the thing I was most worried about was living on campus. This would be my first time living away from home and also my first time sharing a room with someone who I didn’t know. I grew up always having my own space, or at least knowing the person I was sharing a room with, but in this case I didn’t. My freshman year roommate and I met on our “Class of…” page on Facebook, bonded over our love for Beyonce, and decided to live together! Other than what her Facebook told me, I didn’t know much about her.
I find that this a common story for many. A large majority of First Years go into their Salem State experience with little to no idea who their roommate(s) are and panic all the way up until their move-in date because of it. If this is a similar story for you: your feelings are valid, but everything is going to be okay! Here’s some DO’s and DON’Ts in regards to living with a random roommate(s)!
DO reach out to your roommate(s) and get to know them!
Search them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn to not only find out more about them, but to say hello! Chances are they are just as nervous as you are and will want to know more about you too! Ask some questions that will affect the way you live together. For example, “What’s your sleep pattern like?” “Are you an early bird, or a night owl?” “Are you allergic to anything, like scents or food?” “What’s your favorite thing to do on your time off?” These questions will really help you find out if ya’ll are a perfect match or not.
DON’T read too much into things they post.
Know when to stop digging on social media. Looking or reading into too much can cause you to create an unconscious opinion on your new roommate(s) that might leave a bad taste in your mouth. Just because your roommate(s) has different interests than you doesn’t mean you won’t get along! When I saw that my freshman year roommate went to a private school, played opposite sports than me, and didn’t update social media often, I was concerned that we wouldn’t be a match. But even though we were completely different people, we ended up having the best first year together and are still really good friends!
DO be honest with each other!
This goes for before and during your living experience. Don’t be afraid to tell your roommate (s)that something they are doing is making you uncomfortable, like late hours with the the light on, or too many friends in the room during a time you need to be studying. And before moving into together, be honest about your living habits and what makes you tick! You can’t be upset with someone if you never told them it made you upset.
DON’T be afraid to make other friends than just your roommate(s).
This is my biggest piece of advice for new students!!! Making connections with people is one of the most important things to do during your first year. Whether it be people on your floor, in your building or even at an event on campus event, start the conversation and make new friends! If you and your roommate(s) don’t end up getting along, at least you’ll have a friends room to escape to, or even move in with!
DO know that this isn’t forever!
Although most people I know who went random with a roommate had a pleasant experience, there’s always some that don’t. If you and your roommate(s) just really aren’t clicking and are having some conflict or tension, there is always the option to move rooms after the 2 week freeze (during your first 2 weeks at SSU you will be unable to move rooms or submit a request. This is a way for new students to problem solve their issues on their own and not make any major decisions before getting to know the person first) If after the 2 week freeze you and your roommate(s) have decided to part ways, you can speak to your RA about your options!
With only a little over a month left until move-in, I hope this roommate advice helps to calm your nerves and guides you to an awesome friendship! If you have any specific questions about living on campus, please feel free to reach out to the Residence Life office.
Residence Life (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm)