I have been lucky in college so far. I have an amazing RA who really cares about everyone on our floor, we do super fun activities together on a regular basis and no one on our floor seems to be annoyed with anyone else. It's sort of the perfect situation. I think that the reason my dorm floor is so compatible is because of how we all started out and moved forward. Here are some tips on how to get your floor happily coexisting (and how to make friends!)
1. Open doors make happy floors.
This might seem cliche, but that's honestly how it all starts. My mom told me before I left to always keep my dorm door open so people could wander in and chat with me, and it works. I am close with my dorm neighbors, and I think it was because I left my door open. However, this is also applicable in the metaphorical sense: you need to be able to get off FaceTime with your friends from home and your family in order to see those around you, so balancing your friends and family and your new floor is essential.
2. Do the activities your RA plans.
These activities are great. That's how you can meet your floormates and hang out in a casual, non ice-breaker situation. If you aren't as lucky as I am, make your own plans: ice cream and movies, exploring new food places, basically anything involving food is a safe bet.
3. Walk around every once in a while.
Don't leave your door open and expect people to do all the work while you lounge in your room. An open door only gets you so far. Explore the other "side" of the floor. If you live on a circular floor, like I do, walking around will familiarize you with people's names and allow you to see who is on your floor. You need to know their names before you can actually start to become friends.
4. Make a group chat and do polls.
Polls are great. I'm not talking political polls or heavily debated and fueled issues; I'm thinking more along the lines of shows or pop culture or movies or something. Some examples may include "Which Jonas brother is better?" or "The Office or Parks and Rec?" or "Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts?" These are simple polls that everyone has an opinion on and being active in a group chat is a great way to establish a connection.
5. Hold contests and activities.
Nothing allows people to bond more than room versus room or floor versus floor contests and activities. My floor is floor Thrive (five) and when we are all together competing or working together for a common thing, it is a lot of fun. Allow yourselves to have a little fun and low-intensity competition. This could even include playing Uno in the hallway or engaging in a little harmless Cards Against Humanity.
Meeting people on your floor and establishing a bond of some sort is so important. You don't need to be best friends with them, you just need to get along with and know the names of the people on your floor. It seems simple, but you'd be surprised by how many people don't know who is on the same floor as them.
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