1. DO get to know your roommate.
Learn about their favorite book or Netflix obsession. Find out if they like coffee or tea. Not only does this start the relationship off right, this also helps you feel more comfortable about living with a complete stranger for a year. Besides, if you find out they like the same frappe as you, you can offer to bring them one when you stop at the coffee cart on campus. This shows you care about getting to know them and is a very easy way to begin a friendship.
2. DON'T snoop.
Even if you aren't comfortable with your roommate, that never gives you the right to go through their stuff unless it causes you physical harm. If you see an item of clothing you like or a cute picture you want to get a better look at, do not just take their things. Ask for permission first. Even if it's just a pair of shoes, they may not want to share or have you taking their things. This shows you respect them and you can expect the same in return.
3. DO make boundaries.
Most schools have RA's on each floor go to each roommate pair and make a roommate agreement. This is simply a contract that both roommates agree to abide by. It can entail if you're willing to have others in the room, if you're willing to share clothes and when "quiet hour" may be in your room. If your school doesn't do something like this, do it yourself. Each roommate agrees and signs. This will keep you both on the same page with expectations for each other and can sneak peek into what kind of relationship you may have with your roomie.
4. DON'T break your roommate's trust.
This is a serious topic of issue. Once you gain a person's trust and break it, it is often hard to get back. If you or your roommate don't trust each other, this year is going to go by very slow. Give them their space and privacy. Let them know you are there for them if they need it and give them your trust as well. Trust is a big step in starting any relationship.
5. DO make plans to hang out.
You do not have to be best friends by any means, but if on a Thursday night you are both in the room not doing anything, offer to go get some ice cream and have them pick out a movie or series to watch. That's a good way to break the ice and make a friend. It doesn't have to be in the room either, go get a late night snack or explore your new home together. Having friend in a new place when you have just become independent and on your own is a great step-up.
6. DON'T force a friendship if there isn't one.
If your roommate constantly turns down your offers to hang out, it's no big deal. There are at least 20 other people on your floor and you have people in your classes who you already know you share interests with. Just because you don't have the roommate who is going to be in your wedding one day, doesn't mean you're alone. There are plenty of other people to become friends with and you have four years. Don't let this one relationship decide your college career.
As you get thrown into this crazy new adventure called college and begin living with a completely random person, make sure you understand these six do's and don'ts of being a good roommate. Good Luck!
Lead Image Credit: Shipstad Hall via Facebook