1. Be prepared for no privacy – Chances are, the days of going to your room to be alone are over. Yes – your roommate can now hear everything you are talking about! If you want some privacy, curtains can be an effective way to close off your bed or desk area like this.
2. Set rules and limits with your roommate – This will be the best way to making sure you are both on the same page with things like sleeping habits, ‘OK’ hours for TV and music, and overnight guests. If you and your roommate chat about this stuff at the beginning of the year, it will avoid conflicts down the line.
3. Get to know your RA – Remember, your RA is a student too, and not a police officer trying to get you in trouble. He or she is there to help. They’ve probably been through the same things you’re going through — being homesick, getting lost on campus, roommate conflicts, etc. and they’ve also received special training to support you this year.
4. Helpful personal items to consider – Earplugs, your own lighting (for your desk or a clip on light for your bed), shower shoes, and a shower caddy are some must haves that will make living in your new shared quarters much more manageable .
5. Learn the eating options available to you – Obviously you should know your dining hall hours, but you will also want to know what your nearby food and delivery options are for early mornings or all those late night study sessions.
6. Find the right time to do laundry – Most people are going to be doing laundry on Sunday evenings and the odds of you getting an empty machine are unlikely. Try to find a morning or afternoon when you have a break in your classes to get your laundry done when the machines will be less crowded.
7. Be respectful of others living around you – Be aware that your roommate has to look at your bed, desk and floor every day too. You don’t have to be super clean but try not to be super messy. Also, remember that you’re not only sharing a space with your roommate but you have neighbors all around you. You might want the people in your hall to become your friends, so try not to be too disruptive.