• Mr. Jeff Neill

Transition Chat: Friends & Roommates

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

The transition to college is at least in part challenging due to the social adjustments that must be made. For most students, their entire social and support networks must be reestablished and reformed in the new environment of college. For some students, these networks have been formed over the course of 13 years! Starting over can be daunting, and so, this week, we encourage you to consider the following:

How will you focus your efforts to establish social connections?

Here are some additional questions to consider:

  • When will you learn of your housing situation and roommates?

  • Have you received any roommate questionnaires or surveys from your college designed to help pair you with others? Be sure to answer these questions thoroughly and thoughtfully, being honest with yourself about who you are.

  • Alumni Advice: Many students will find their roommate via a Facebook group. Many of these groups are monitored by university administrators, so be mindful about what you decide to post about yourself online! (Be aware of this cautionary tale!)

  • Alumni Advice: Don’t room with friends from high school. If you are close with someone else going to your college, each of you should room with someone else. Try to room near each other but not with each other! It will allow you both to have more friends right away!

  • What will you want to communicate with your roommates about you? (TIP: Be honest about your living habits and share who you are, not the person you wish you were or hope to become!)

  • Alumni Advice: Be sure to discuss who is bringing what, especially when it comes to bigger items such as refrigerators, radios, televisions, etc.

  • What clubs, activities, or other opportunities will you take advantage of early in your college career to be involved and to meet others?

  • Alumni Advice: Take advantage of all of the activities and opportunities that your college provides in the early going. Some of them may be cheesy, but you have to put yourself out there to make friends.

  • It is entirely common for college freshmen to experience homesickness. Have you explored the resources available if you encounter homesickness yourself?

  • Alumni Advice: Remember that everyone is going through the same challenges as you in being new at college!

  • Have you thought about how you will go about having conversations with your roommate(s) about boundaries and rules for the room, particularly around cleanliness, bedtimes, and having friends over?

  • Do you know about campus resources to turn to if there is a roommate conflict that requires mediation? Are there TAs or RAs available in the dormitories? Residential life staff members?

This piece is part of a series on “transitioning to college.” We encourage graduating seniors and their parents or guardians to engage in discussion on a weekly basis about these topics. If you have feedback or additional ideas or perspectives to share, please let us know so we can incorporate your thoughts into revisions of our posts.

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