Roommate 101

Picture by Akhila Vuppalapati

So you know that human you live and share a room with? Yes, I promise you that no matter how hard you try, they’re not disappearing. So, you might as well get close and comfy with them!

Don’t get me wrong: it can definitely be weird at first. However, they’ll be the first face you see in the morning and the last one you see at night, and then you’ll see them a bunch in between, so it’s important to get to know each other a little. Not to brag (*hair flip*), but I like to think that I have a pretty great relationship with my roommate. That took some time, of course. Step by step, layer by layer, I had to peel the onion and now, I can’t imagine rooming with anyone else! Without further ado, here are some tips to get that relationship going: 

1. Get To Know Them.

It’s going to be super awkward if you don’t know the first thing about that person living 5 feet away from you. What do they like? What do they do in their free time? What are their hobbies? Who are their friends? You generally want to make conversation (and even become good friends!!!) with your roommate, and it’s not a bad idea to start by just talking and seeing where the conversation goes. Chat about their passions, why they came to IMSA in the first place, what shows they watch on Netflix, etc. and you’re bound to find out some great things about them that you didn’t know before! You might also end up with a Netflix buddy.

2. Don’t Live in a Pigsty.

While it’s important to get comfortable with your roommate, make sure that you don’t get too comfortable to the point you can’t see the floor. Talk to your roommate beforehand and take the roommate contract seriously so that you both know what’s expected cleanliness-wise. If one wants the room spotless and the other is just happy that they found a clear place to sleep in the room, problems are bound to arise.

3. Communicate.

They’re your roommate, not a mind reader. Like I said, take the roommate contract seriously and communicate expectations. For example, my roommate expects quiet for 20 minutes after she gets into bed because that’s usually how long it takes her to fall asleep. Because she communicated that with me, I make sure to keep it quiet and not have too many friends over for those 20 minutes. Even if it seems like common sense, just let your roommate know what you expect – because why not? No issues will ever arise from stating your expectations!

4. Be a Decent Human.

This should go without saying, but just be a good person! Say hi to them in the hallway, invite them to dinner, introduce your friends, etc. This is just proper etiquette for anyone really, but try to be more conscious about doing this with your roommate. It goes a long way, I promise.

It can be nerve-wracking to have a roommate, but if all goes well (and more often than not, it does) you’ll have a close friend who you can count on. IMSA is not a cake walk and you’re bound to run into a couple obstacles here and there, so during those lower points, it’s important to know that you have a supportive roommate to help you out. I wouldn’t give up my roommate for anything, and I’m grateful I put in the effort to actually make it work with her. We’ve known each other for five years and roomed together for two, yet we still talk for hours on end about the most random things. Some of my fondest IMSA memories are the spontaneous talks at 2 a.m., and I know that most people on campus can agree with that. So get to know that roommate of yours! It’ll be worth it.

About the Author

Akhila Vuppalapati
Akhila Vuppalapati is from Naperville, IL and currently resides in 1503 C-Wing where she is a wing guide. She is currently a staff writer for the ACRONYM.

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