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There are many situations in life where you will be thrust into the world of new people. Meeting a new roommate for the first time is one of those social situations. Whether you have just arrived at your new college dorm or have just rented a room in an apartment full of strangers, there are a few general tips and tricks to making the best first impression when meeting new roommates.

New College Roommates

One of the things to remember when it comes to meeting a new college roommate for the first time is that they are most likely in the same situation as you. They want to make a good first impression and want to build a strong relationship. Most people living on and off campus are away from their parent’s house and friends from high school and thus will be keen to branch out into different social circles. Because you will be sharing a very tight space, you want to find that happy balance between shared space and individual space. You may share the television and Xbox while livening up plain walls,but have individual closets and desks for your clothes and books.

When you meet your college roommate for the first time, be friendly but don’t be in your face. Offer to help him with his things but don’t take offense if he says no. The first few days of college are all about orientation and finding your footing so let a few days pass before suggesting a meal or beer where you can get to know one another properly. You do not want to bombard your new roommate with questions, comments and plans as this can be overwhelming in the best of times. As time goes by you may want to also make up some roommate rules, such as ‘no sleepovers,’ ‘no TV after a certain time’ and ‘always clean up your own messes.’ However, when you first meet your roommate, stay away from rules and instead keep the conversation light and cheerful.

As you get to know one another you will learn from you habits. Perhaps your roommate like the sleep in and study until dawn. If this is the case, then playing loud music at 8am is not a good idea. Set a certain time of the day for quiet time and a certain time of the day for socializing.

New Apartment Roommates

If you are just moving into an apartment or house for the first time then you will have much more space to explore and much more space to personalize. You will most likely have your own room and you may be asked to add decorations and furniture to the common areas as well. The same rules apply when you are moving into a new house or apartment – be friendly and polite. There is a time to discuss house rules but, for the most part, when you first meet a roommate, steer clear of a bossy or condescending attitude. Adjust first, discuss later.

Even if you do not become the best of friends after meeting a roommate, it is important to at least try to get to know them. After all, you will be sharing your belongings, your fridge space and your bathroom with him or her. If there is some tension or a problem in the house, talk to them about it. Often your roommate will not even realize that playing loud music at midnight, talking loudly on the phone or smoking out of the window is annoying you. Sometimes confrontation is necessary to move past a problem and get rid of any tension in the house.

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