Moving to a new city is always a nerve-wracking experience, even when you’re heading to a place as migrant friendly as Chennai. You’re bound to feel a roller coaster of emotions as you pack up your life, choose your accommodation and head to your new city. And now that you’ve moved to Chennai and settled into your ladies hostel in Nungambakkam, it’ll take you a while to get used to the ways of the city. And at the same time, you have to navigate living in close quarters with a complete stranger – your roommate. How exactly do you figure that equation out? Should you try to be best friends with your roommate or just leave them alone? How do you get past the initial awkwardness? Well, if those are some of the thoughts running through your mind right now, we hope we can help. Here are some of our top tips on how to get along well with your hostel roommate.

Take things slow

When you start living with someone, you automatically become privy to many intimate details about their lives. And it can feel like your relationship with your roommate is getting too close too fast, especially if you’re nervous or a bit of an over-sharer. So, don’t be afraid to take it slow. You don’t need to know every single thing about each other within the first week itself. After all, if you and your roommate are going to be living together, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other’s quirks, likes and dislikes. Don’t worry, with a slower pace, your relationship can develop more organically.

Ask smart questions

You don’t need to know what your roommate was like in her childhood but you do need to know what her daily habits are. When you’re sharing close quarters, it’s important for both of you to have an idea about each other’s routines and expectations. Asking your roommate about when they prefer to sleep and turn out the lights or which snacks, they like will also make them feel more comfortable and connected to you.

Set boundaries

If you’re trying to build a healthy relationship with your roommate, it’s important to establish some ground rules right off the bat. How do you feel about loud music? What about having friends over? How do you plan to divide the chores? What are things you’re okay with sharing and what’s off limits? Discuss and decide these rules for yourselves within the first week so that you’re opening the doors of communication. It’s also important to revisit these boundaries at regular intervals, especially if something is breaking down between you two.

Swap schedules

When you live with a roommate, privacy can be a commodity that’s hard to come by. And it’s not fair for you or your roommate to always have to ask the other to stay away from the room if you have guests over or want some space. Swapping schedules can be an easy way for you to keep track of when you can expect the room to yourself and allow you to plan accordingly. Of course, there will still be weekends and other times when you might want some privacy, but it’s best to compromise and discuss what works best for both parties.

Spend some time together

A roommate relationship is exactly like any other relationship. You’ll only get as much as you put into it. If you want to get on well with your roommate and prevent any miscommunications, it’s important to spend some time with them regularly outside your room too. Schedule a monthly hangout and catch a movie or visit some cafes in Chennai or make friends with their friends. Getting to know each other outside of your hostel will really help you make friends with each and enjoy each other’s company.

With these tips, you should find it really easy to get to know your roommate and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Just remember to be considerate of their needs and to communicate openly about your own, and you’ll be good to go. You’ve got this!