1. Touch base now. Your college or university has probably assigned you a roommate and notified you about whom he or she is. Armed with a name, and possibly a phone number and email address, you can – and should – contact your new roommie and introduce yourself. Exchanging information like which one of you will bring a coffee maker, who has a TV, and what color your bedding is, and will go a long way in not only preparing you in a practical sense for sharing what will likely be a tiny space with a stranger, but it will help break the ice for the first face-to-face meeting. If you can friend each other on Facebook or find one another on Twitter or some other social networking site, you can also see whether you two share any mutual contacts or common interests, like stalking people on Facebook, which can provide a good conversation starter and launching point for what will hopefully be a successful roommate relationship. “You stalk people on Facebook? Dude, so do I!” Boom: Kindred spirits. 2. Don’t make rules, but do negotiate. Some people will advise you to “make rules” with your roommate about when it’s time to turn the lights off, how often you can have guests over, and what kind of music you can play. That’s lame. Who wants someone she just met telling her how many friends she can invite over or what time she has to go to bed? A better way of creating a comfortable living environment is by modeling how you’d like to be treated, acknowledging when you’re compromising yourself for the good of your roommate relationship, and clearly communicating your deal-breakers. For example, if you’re a night owl and would prefer to stay awake with the lights and music on until 4 in the morning, but know your roommate goes to bed at 11, let her know that you’re willing to accommodate her, but since Justin Bieber is a deal-breaker for you, you’d appreciate it if she’d either listen to him when you’re out or with head phones when you’re home. The key here is deciding what you absolutely can’t live with and what you are willing to give up or offer in exchange for ensuring you don’t have to live with it/Justin Bieber.