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Freshman-year dynamics can make or break your experience living with roommates, so the The Daily Pennsylvanian has come up with some helpful tips for freshmen just moving in.

Credit: Daniel Xu

Your parents are gone, you’ve moved in, and you’re ready to get started on (arguably) the most important part of college: your social life. Good thing that The Daily Pennsylvanian knows a thing or two about freshman-year etiquette.

Do get to know your hallmates and, especially, your roommate(s).

Whether you got into your first choice building or some little bungalow know one’s ever heard of, your hall will play a huge role in your freshman experience.

Living with someone is no small undertaking, and if you want to feel good coming back to your room each day, then you have to make it work. Get to know one another, engage in shared interests, and be patient with each other’s flaws — we’re only human. No one can guarantee that you and your roommate(s) will get along — some people just aren’t a good fit together — but dozens of Penn students who were happy enough with their initial roommate live with them the following year (this writer included). So invest in this relationship — it might just pay off in spades.

Do party (responsibly) with your hall.

There’s no better group to party with than the people who can help walk your likely stumbling body back to your room.

Even if imbibing certain liquids doesn’t interest you, your hallmates are still the best people to recruit in exploring all the opportunities offered at Penn. Drag your neighbors with you to a cappella auditions and dance workshops, and you may find a convenient practice partner as well as a lasting bond.

Don’t lose sight of who you are.

Our school is a melting pot of different cultures, backgrounds and personality types, but certain flavors tend to dominate. The pluralism of a freshman hall has a way of turning its diverse group of residents into a very likeminded bunch. Be true to yourself, and remember that the world outside of the Penn bubble doesn’t all wear Sperry’s or Vineyard Vines.

Do make a GroupMe, and you might as well make it two.

The notifications may quickly bother you, but it’s always a good move to set up two group messaging chats with your hallmates — one with your resident adviser and one without them. That way you can stay constantly in the loop of sanctioned (and unsanctioned) social events as the year gets started.

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