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Six Tips for Meeting Your New Madison Roommate Before Move-in Day

You’ve got your new roommate assignment, and you’re thinking it would be nice to meet your new Madison roommate before move-in day. But what’s the best way to make contact, and what’s worked best for new roommates in the past?

As a facilitator of countless roommate matches, we’ve seen new roomies make contact in a variety of ways. Here are some tips, including some suggestions on what to expect during that first meeting.

1. Keep it light with your first contact

The usual sequence of events is that you’ll get each other’s email address and phone numbers. You’ll likely friend each other on Facebook soon after.
At this point, relax and keep things light. You don’t know much about your new roomie at this point. They might not share your enthusiasm for the new situation. For example, UW might not be his or her first choice for a school, or they might just be a shy. Curb your enthusiasm until you can gauge your new roommate’s viewpoint.

2. Avoid snap judgments

Many students choose to meet new roommates in person before the move-in day. This is a generally a very good experience. No matter what happens, avoid making snap judgments. This is not high school anymore, and you need to give a person of the benefit of the doubt. Get to know what’s beneath the surface before you jump to conclusions.

3. Refrain from reading into Facebook

Speaking of snap judgments, we recommend that you don’t read into person’s Facebook page. College can be a time for someone to reinvent himself or herself, so what you see on Facebook may not be what you get.

4. Steer clear of setting ground rules

A common mistake is for roommates to try and set ground rules right out of the gates. Don’t do it. Keep your initial meetings light, and wait until you’re living together before you decide on anything. College will be an entirely unexpected experience in many ways, so wait until you’re living the life before you try and make the ground rules.

5. Seek common ground for conversation

What should you talk about? Again, try and keep things light. It’s safe to talk about what you’re involved with in high school, your new major, your schedule, your career goals. Your roommate may be shy, so don’t be alarmed if he or she seems a little standoffish. You just met – give it time.

6. Remember these two critical tips

One, you’re not going to be best friends right away, and two, it’s not important that you do become best friends – ever. You’ll have opportunities to make plenty of friends along the way. What’s important is not that you have a ton of things in common, it’s that you are able to resolve conflicts between each other in a healthy way. Download our Roommate Resolution guide for more details.

Good luck on your first meeting with your roomie. Keep your expectations in line and you’ll be off to a great start.

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