Caitlin and her freshamn roommate

My random freshman roommate, Kera, and I our first week living together freshman year of college.

It’s time freshmen! This Saturday you will all be receiving your roommates for your first year of college.  This can either be stressful and scary or you can make it extremely fun and exciting!

I would personally go with the fun option. College is a great time to start fresh by meeting new people and having new experiences to make new memories.

Why not start your new memories with your roommate?

Your first roommate can make or break your college life– especially residence hall or social life.  My freshman year I ended up with a roommate who did not have a ton in common with me. We had separate friends, took different classes and did not hang out on weekends.

Even so, now nearly three years later we are still in constant contact. Just because you and your roommate are different, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get along or won’t have a great bond.

So, now when you get the name and other information about your newly assigned roommate, use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media to get to know them. Talk about who is bringing what, what majors you are interested in, talk about your favorite music, books, television shows, or restaurants. Find out where they went to school and what they were involved in. If you live close to each other, meet before move in day!

By doing all of these things moving in will not be a scary event with a total stranger, but rather moving in with a good friend. Our generation has so much information at it’s fingertips and it makes communication easier than it ever has been before! Use it to your advantage and make your transition all that much easier.

If for some reason you do all of these things and you still are unable to make a great connection then there are other options. You should never feel stuck in a bad situation, and as hard as the staff at Winona State tries, a perfect match is not always made. In these situations there are people to talk to and changes can be made.

If you are one of these people, then the Housing Office is where you will either need to go or contact at reslife@winona.edu.

But give it a chance before you make any big changes!  I think you will find that a random roommate may be one of the best things that could happen to you in college!

So I guess all that there is left to say is Welcome to Winona State University!  We can’t wait to see you this fall and I hope that you enjoy every second of your college experience with us!

–Caitlin Reineke

Cailtiin and her freshman roommate a year later

Even though I moved away, my freshman roommate, Kera, and I are still great friends!

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