Surviving your first roommate

If you haven't ever had to share a room with someone before, like myself, having a roommate your first year of college can be a tough transition. So many things can go wrong so quickly, and it would be beneficial for both of you if you worked out some crucial issues when you first move in.
The first step is to try and connect with your roommate before you even move in. Become friends on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, get each others phone numbers; somehow communicate with each other beforehand so you can learn a little about each other. Maybe you have something in common and BAM, you just made your first college friend.

After you move in, it is generally a good idea to make some ground rules. Some examples are:
*If you are a messy person and your roommate is a clean-freak, you can bet there are going to be some arguments.
*Discuss when you want the lights on it the room or what the noise-level after midnight should(nt) be: If you are living in a dorm and you have established rules about lights-off after 11:00 pm, find your study room and go there to do your procrastinated homework, or you can go to the common room and hang out with the other night-owls.
*Another issue you might want to address would be having "friends" over: This is where some awkward encounters can happen if you and your roommate don't know each other that well. The sock-over-the-doorknob definitely works, but that also alerts everybody that lives in your building about what's happening. So embarrassing! Think of a code word or some other hint that will let your roommate know "hey, you probably don't want to walk in right now".
*Sharing food or appliances: This is a conversation that most people don't think to have right away because it seems unimportant. But you need to! When most roommates first meet, they are excited and automatically assume their roommate is a good person. This is a great quality, but don't do it! Typical conversation: "Hi! We can share kitchen-ware, and anything in the shared spaces, and just ask if you want to borrow anything!" My advice: Know what is yours! Picture this: all year long you share silverware, appliances, bean bag chairs, and rugs. The year ends, and suddenly you both are 100% sure all those things are your own. Make sure you know what belongs to who so that at the end of the year it can be easily separated and you can each be on your own way!

A good piece of advice that I have learned over the years living with various people is that regardless of how good of friends you were prior to becoming room mates is that you will ALWAYS develop pet pieves. It is worlds easier to accept this and remind yourself that for the time being they are a room mate before they are a friend. Maintaining that friendship is highly dependent on your ability to be a reasonable person to live with.

You and your new roommate can have the time of your lives in your first year of college, but beware, your roommate could be the epitome of everything you loathe in the world. Make sure you find out before you move in and maybe you can prevent some weird or bad memories from happening.
FINAL NOTE: Never be afraid to confront your roommate about a problem, communication is KEY! If you can't be open to what is bothering you, all the built up anger will result in a lashing out, making the living situation even worse. Especially if you are close friends, you don't want to ruin a friendship over a silly miscommunication or lack thereof.