Undergraduate Programs

How to Reach Out to Your Roommate

Got your housing and roommate assignment? Now is the time to get in touch with your roommate and get to know them before moving into your residence hall in August. If you’re hung up on how to start that initial convo, we got you! 

Here are some tips on how to reach out to your roommate and what to say. And if you’re really stuck, we’ve even included an email template for you to copy, paste and customize. We always recommend that you review the University Student Regulations, specifically the Roommate Bill of Rights as it pertains to shared spaces. Please also note that just because you may not have a roommate listed immediately you can receive a roommate at any time with little or no notice.

Start with a (short and sweet) email

When you open your myCU, you’ll receive your roommate’s name. Using your Clarkson email address, you can search for your future roommate by name and their email will pop up, so make that your initial form of communication. Briefly introduce yourself by sharing your major, your hometown, and what you like to do for fun. If you want to get a bit more personal, share what music you’re into or what TV shows you’re binging this summer.  

And don’t worry about getting into the nitty gritty of your habits and sleeping schedule just yet—your RA (Resident Advisor) will work with you and your roommate after you arrive on campus to outline boundaries and expectations through a roommate agreement. 

Say what you’re bringing

Perhaps the most important topic to square away is which roommate is bringing what to your room. You’ll only need one microwave or refrigerator in your room, so it’s a good idea to coordinate as soon as possible.  

You can initiate the conversation by volunteering to bring something or suggest setting up a phone call to plan what you’ll need to bring and split up items. 

Ask them questions

A great way to keep the conversation going and encourage open communication with your roommate is to ask them about themself. Try asking about their hobbies, what they’re most excited about once school starts in the fall, or if they have any fun summer plans. 

Provide your contact info

Before signing off your email, let your roommate know the best way to get in touch with you. Consider giving them your cell phone number so you can text about room supplies or any questions you might have. You can also give out your social media handles to stay in touch over the summer but try not to give in to the urge to stalk their accounts (but if you can’t resist, just remember not to base your opinion on them solely by their Instagram feed)!

Consider meeting up face-to-face or over Zoom

Getting to know your roommate over the summer can help you become more comfortable with each other when school starts. Messaging online is a great start but meeting up IRL for coffee or lunch is even better. Or, if you live too far from each other, set up a Zoom or FaceTime chat. You’re likely having a lot of the same thoughts and questions about starting college, so you’ll have plenty to talk about!

Just be yourself

Cheesy, we know, but seriously—just be authentic and kind and you’ll make a great first impression. If you’re nervous, chances are your roommate is just as stressed as you are and will be glad you made the first move.

Email template

If you’re still not sure how to phrase things, we’ve put together a short template for you—just don’t forget to fill in the blanks before sending! 

Hi (roommate name), 

My name is (your name). I just checked my housing assignment from Pacific and it looks like we’ll be roommates for the next school year!  

Here’s a bit about me: I’m a (your major) major from (your hometown). In my free time, I love listening to (your favorite music) and (an activity you enjoy) with my friends. What are some of your hobbies?  

My number is (your phone number). Feel free to text me so we can get to know each other and coordinate on who is bringing what for the dorm. I’d also love to get together for coffee or something! 

Looking forward to meeting you, 

(your name)  

P.S. Feel free to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat! My handles are (your handles). 

Understand your roommate may not respond, that’s okay!

During the summer people may have work, travel, classes, or other obligations which may limit them from being able to respond to your reach out. This does not mean they are not excited. Please be patient with people and their life experiences outside of email. While it is exciting to connect early, no other student is under an obligation to be responsive to you over the summer, and it may not be an option for them. It is possible you may not connect with your roommate until you arrive on campus in August. 

Your roommate does not have to be your best friend

Sometimes, Roommates are Just Roommates! It’s important to remember that roommates don’t always have to be friends, you just need to coexist peacefully. It’s wonderful to have a roommate who shares your values and interests, but it isn’t necessary. Don’t expect to be best friends with your roommate. If that happens, wonderful! If not, know that every year is a new opportunity to make great friends and to grow and expand your horizons.

If you have any questions about living on campus, on campus, reach out to our Residence Life Office via email reslife@clarkson.edu by phone at 315-268-6642, over Instagram @clarksonreslife or check out our website: https://www.clarkson.edu/residence-life

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