Living with a new person can be awkward, especially when you first start out. It may be hard to think of ways to connect with someone, especially when you’re living in such close quarters right off the bat. It is important to feel comfortable with your roommate so that you can open the lines of communication and better handle future issues or problems when they arise. Also, the better you know your roommate, the better you can understand who they are, where they come from and how to make the best of your living situation. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to break the ice with roommate bonding activities, whether you’re a freshman living in the dorms or an upperclassman moving in with a new roommate. These roommate bonding activities will help you understand each other better and may even lead to a great friendship!
1. Eat at the dining hall together
If you’re a freshman, chances are you have nobody to eat meals with during your first few days of college. Don’t go alone! Ask your roommate to tag along so you both can explore the dining hall together. If you have friends from high school who you already plan to eat with, ask your roommate to come along. He/she will appreciate the invitation and get to know you and your friends better. This is a good general rule of thumb to follow in college as far as not hanging out solely with high school friends. College is a time for meeting new people! So open your social circle and let some new people in.
2. Have a movie night
Especially during the first few weeks of school when you may not have as much homework, set aside a night to relax and watch movies together. Compile your DVDs, browse Netflix and make some snacks that you both enjoy. Don’t hesitate to watch something you haven’t seen before! It makes for a great conversation if neither of you or only one of you has seen the film. Even if you don’t talk much during the movie, just sitting and enjoying each other’s presence can make for a great bonding experience!
3. Use social media to tell them about yourself / your past
This is something my roommate and I did during our first week of freshman year. We went through our Facebook pictures from high school to help explain where we came from, what our interests are and how we came to be the people we are today. Using pictures allowed us to gather a greater sense of the other person by being able to better imagine each other’s lives and experiences. For example, we showed each other pictures of our family members, our best friends and what activities we were in. Since each photo had a back story, it gave us something to share and talk about. Divulging information about yourselves is a great way to grow closer and build a friendship. Plus, when your roommate has people visit, you’ll already know who they are!
4. Go grocery shopping together
Grocery shopping with your roommate is especially helpful if you’re living in an apartment together for the first time. Not only will you spend some time with each other, but you’ll also be able to establish which foods, if any, you want to share and can coordinate meals if you plan to do so. Perhaps you even make it a weekly ritual to go to the store together on Sundays and alternate who drives. If you want, you could make an afternoon out of it and get lunch or just go for a drive. Really, any outing that you take together will strengthen your roomie relationship.
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