The first week of college can be stressful and awkward for both you and your roommate. Moving in, trying to make friends and fearing awful roommate horror stories are things that we all have to deal with upon arrival. However, with some cooperation and planning, you and your roommate can have a fun and productive first week together. The suggestions below serve as multi-purpose activities to break the ice between you and your roommate, and to be productive in other aspects of your dorm life as well.
1. Find Your Classes Together
Walking from building to building to understand where all of your classes are (before they actually start) is a very efficient method to get to know your way around ahead of time. Don't do it alone! Your roommate probably also wants to know how far they'll have to walk from class to class - and if they'll have to sprint to get there - so get them to walk around with you. Not only will you be spending time with your roommate, but you'll also get to walk to some buildings they need to go to that you might not have seen otherwise.
2. Go Dorm Shopping
It's an inevitable fact that you'll forget something you need when you move in. Alternatively, maybe you forgot something you don't really need - like posters or decorations - and you've realized how drab your room is without them. So get your roommate to come shop for room supplies and decor with you. You two can get matching shower caddies. It’ll be cute, trust me. Not only will you have picked up things you needed for your room, but you'll also have learned more about your roommate’s taste. You don't even need to go shopping exclusively for dorm accessories. Clothes, books and records are also good things to go shop for (even if you do just end up window shopping - because you are a broke college student now after all) and can give you a better sense of what your roommate likes.
3. Make Matching Bulletin Boards
Staying organized is hard enough when your dorm room is the size that it is. Go pick up some cheap bulletin boards and nice paper, and create color-coded schedules, calendars and blank to-do lists to pin up on your boards. You can decorate them with pictures or stickers, and they're a nice way to add some symmetry and extra organization to a dorm room.
4. Host a Floor Movie Night
Everyone is looking for friends on the first week of school, and what better way to start than with your floor mates. Depending on how large your floor is, unite some or all of your floor mates to bring as many blankets as humanly possible and meet to watch a movie. Utilize any common room your floor might have, which often includes a television and seating. However, if your dorm building doesn't have a common room with a TV, the second easiest option is to buy a cheap projector that fits onto your phone or tablet that can project your movies straight onto the wall of your dorm or common room. eBay carries a highly rated iPhone projector for as low as $60. So whether you use a projector, a TV or even just your computer propped up on a coffee table, watching a movie with your floor mates is a cute and easy bonding experience that you and your roommate can host together. But good luck deciding on a movie!
5. Go Explore Town
Exploring your new town is probably the easiest thing you could do to bond with your roommate, and it helps that you’d get to know the surrounding area as well. Whether you search ahead of time for a specific place to check out or just wing it, you and your roommate will immediately have created new, positive memories associated with each other and your college town.
6. Check Out The Gym Together
Attending a new gym can be a little scary. All the regulars, or people who already know what they're doing, are hanging around intimidatingly. Meanwhile, you don't even know where to start looking for an elliptical. Take your roommate with you to check out the facility and make that task a little less daunting. If you're not a gym person, this can go for any other building on campus that you’re nervous to check out on your own.
7. Go Out For Sunday Breakfast
Meeting for breakfast on Sunday morning (or whatever morning you choose) can turn into a weekly event that keeps you and your roommate hanging out, despite making other friends. Pick a dining hall, or try a new restaurant each week. It can end up being a nice tradition that gives you a good start to your Sunday mornings, and keeps you and your roommate updated on each other’s busy lives.
Overall, no matter what you and your roommate do to bond, you can't go wrong with activities that both help you to get to know each other and your college better. Once you see what you and your roommate have in common, it's hard to have a bad relationship. So put all of the fears of not getting along with your roommate to rest and make sure to enjoy your first week together!