How to Integrate Into a New Apartment With New Roommates

By Tamiera Vandegrift on December 30, 2016

So you’ve just gotten your housing assignment for the year and what’s this? It appears that your new roommates have already been living together for a while and you’ll be the new kid in the room. Don’t let this freak you out.

Read on to find the best ways to integrate into a new living environment with new roommates.

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Build a relationship.

Since you’re going to be living with your new roommates for a while, don’t let them be strangers. Grab dinner together and discuss your expectations for living there right away. Once you get the awkward stuff out of the way, there’s more room to actually build a genuine connection with your roommates.

Learn more about them by asking questions. It might seem daunting, but do your best to be friendly and personable. After all, you never know. They might be as nervous to get to know you as you are getting to know them. Make small talk, if that’s easiest for you. Compliment them and show genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you break down the ice, you’ll seem less like a stranger and more like a pleasant new addition to the household.

Find common interests.

Even though they might seem like complete strangers, you could find that you have more common ground than you think. Figure out what kind of books they’re into, what kind of music they like, what Netflix shows they love to binge, etc. Share your interests with them and see what happens. Introduce them to your favorite band, your favorite movie, or your favorite hobby. They’ll definitely show interest and once the barrier is broken down, they’ll want to share their interests with you too.

Pretty soon, you’ll find that you have more in common than you think and that you’ll be able to get past the same old boring small talk.

Do things together.

You’re all students battling this beast known as “college” together, so establish some roommate comradery. Arrange weekly study dates or homework sessions with your roommates at the library. Offer to help them study and review for their upcoming exam. Be there when they need to vent about drama in their life, whether its academic stress or relationship stress.

“I made a candy wreath for my roommates to pick candy off of and we hung it in our shared living space!” said Florida State student Alexis Colby.

Spend time with them outside of the small moments where you see them leaving for class or cooking in the kitchen. Work to make a genuine connection with your roommates and your relationship with them as well as your time in college will run a lot smoother.

Stay clean.

Make a good impression for your roommates by showing them how clean and tidy you are. Just because you’re the new roommate doesn’t mean you should forget to respect your roommates and their living space.

“When you first move in, take on a larger than normal share of chores and help out more to let them know you won’t be a slacker,” suggests Florida State student Elizabeth Epps.

Try to have your dishes washed and put away within a few days that you use them. Don’t leave the common area a complete, messy disaster for long periods of time. Offer to help your roommates when you notice them cleaning or trying to tidy up. Staying organized is pivotal for creating a communal living space where your roommates and you can feel comfortable without any tension or bad vibes.

Don’t be afraid.

On that note, remember that this is, in fact, your space too.

“It’s really hard to feel comfortable for a while because you feel like you’re in ‘their’ space when really you all pay the same rent and it’s just as much your place as it is theirs,” says Florida State student Cassidy Camp.

Feel free to decorate the living space with your belongings. Add to the décor and let your things become part of the vibe.

“Don’t be afraid to act like it’s yours, too,” suggests Florida State student Catherine Frederick. “Don’t ask permission like you’re a guest and don’t lock yourself in your room.”

The apartment is your home too, and feel free to treat it as such. When you do, your roommates will stop seeing you as a mysterious stranger and start accepting you into the house.

Image via: The Odyssey

Like any relationship, your goal should be to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Treat your roommates with the same respect that you expect them to treat you with. Go over the roommate ground rules early on to avoid any awkwardness later. Remembering these tips will let integrating into a new environment with new roommates become an easy transition and a wonderful experience.

Tamiera is a senior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing & Media and Digital Media Production. When she's not geeking out about movies and puppy videos, she's on her way to a career in screenwriting, while working intensely to finish a few novels before graduation. Besides writing, Tamiera is otherwise obsessed with Coldplay, feminism, dystopian novels, and various types of junk food. She hopes to see one of her works on the silver screen and eventually finish an entire tube of Chapstick.

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