Dear Estelle. With college looming just a few weeks away, do you have any last minute suggestions you can share with our soon-to-be college freshman? Randy J. Centennial, CO
Probably the single most important factor that can make or break a student’s success in the freshman year of college is roommate compatibility. Assuming your child has filled out the rooming application honestly, he should be matched with someone with similar interests and habits. However, this does not necessarily mean similar personalities. Colleges make every attempt to make successful roommate assignments. If your son or daughter hasn’t done so already have him phone or e-mail his new roommate immediately. Also he should send some personal item to his roommate that will help define him a bit like a photo or a story he’s written or perhaps a personalized resume that shows how he spends his free time.
The call or email will give the roommates an opportunity to coordinate belongings. It will also coordinate common interests and reduce anxiety.
After arrival on campus, the two students should establish ground rules. They must negotiate study hours and respect sleep habits. They must ask important questions. With cell phones now the standard, discussing phone bills no longer is the issue it used to be. Other issues are still important, however. What about overnight guests? How acceptable is it for a roommate to borrow clothes without asking? Who’s responsible for keeping the room clean?
Presumably your child has attended the summer orientation program the college offers. It’s invaluable for adjustment and success in college.