Crish Johnson.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about college roommates. I was worried too, but I followed a few steps that made getting to know my new roommate less intimidating. Although I had the advantage of starting with a list of potential roommates, you can follow the same steps to make the get-to-know-you process less awkward when you find out who your roommate will be.

Step 1: Check Facebook and update your own profile

Because I was playing basketball, I knew I wanted to room with a student athlete. My college basketball coach sent out an email about all the students that Lindenwood University-Belleville had just signed, so I headed to Facebook to learn more about these new players and see if any of them looked like a potential roommate. While you’re checking out your future roommate’s profile, visit your own page to make sure your profile is just the way you want it to be, and try to be as truthful as you can about yourself.

Step 2: See what you have in common

As I looked through many girls’ pages, one basketball player really caught my eye. We both have similar likes, beliefs, values, and of course, we both love goldfish! After my roommate and I chatted on Facebook, we started texting to learn more about each other. See what interests you have in common and what you could use to start up a conversation through Facebook. Sometimes it’s easier to chat online than it is to text or talk on the phone when you’re first getting to know someone.

Step 3: Get together

When our summer registration date arrived, my roommate and I decided to register together to give us time to see each other in person. As we went from station to station, I realized that I really liked her, and we would make a great team. Although starting a conversation online is a good way to break the ice, sometimes it’s hard to convey nuances electronically. Meeting your roommate in person will give you a better sense of who you will be living with.

Step 4: Plan ahead

Throughout the summer, our basketball team had a tournament every Sunday. I enjoyed seeing my roommate so we could have time to talk about our room and what each of us was going to bring on move-in day. Space in a dorm room is limited, and planning ahead and asking for the right gifts for college students pays off. No one wants to wait in the long lines at the stores on move-in day because you have two microwaves and no mini fridge.

Although the thought of living with someone you don’t yet know can be daunting, it can also be a fun opportunity to get to know someone new who has a different view on the world. And remember, she’s just as nervous as you are!

Chrish Johnson is a freshman at Lindenwood University-Belleville in Belleville, Ill. She plans to major in secondary math education.