Living with a random roommate can be intimidating. While your school tries to match you with someone you’re likely to get along with, it’s hard to wait until you have a chance to meet them to see if you click. Here are some ways to connect with your roommate before move-in day.

Start with social media

Almost everyone has some form of a social media account. Find your new roommate and start up a conversation with basic “get to know you” questions. It’s easy to start a friendly conversation as strangers when you have fewer expectations. You can also check your future roommate’s profile to learn about their interests and personality. It can make finding common ground a lot easier if you follow the same pages or like the same things on social media.

Video chat

Connecting via social media is a great first start, but talking face-to-face will let you really get to know each other. Video chatting is a great way to see each other and start chatting before you get a chance to meet. Sometimes, written messages are misconstrued. It can help to talk face-to-face and keep these early conversations clear.

It will also be easier for you to begin setting ground rules together to make your living arrangement work well. It is helpful to get pet peeves and other concerns out in the open. For example, it might be a good idea for your roommate to know if you have asthma. That way, you can set the boundaries you need, like no spraying perfume. It’s best to be upfront about these issues to avoid any annoyance later on.

Try to attend the same orientation

Of course, meeting is a great opportunity to take advantage of before move-in day. Traveling to do so might be out of the question, but why not plan to meet up at orientation, if you both are planning to attend? Or, if your orientation requires a night stay, you could request to room together. You can also explore campus between sessions, try out the dining halls, get your books and have your IDs made together. Exploring your new environment with your future roommate is a great way to get to know them and share some experiences.

Create a roommate agreement

Most dorms require you to complete and honor a roommate agreement. The contract helps you set the ground rules and defines ways to deal with a situation if those rules are violated. It can also help you establish a better relationship by setting boundaries early in the semester. For example, if  you want your roommate to ask before bringing people into your shared dorm room, now’s the time to speak up. Make sure you are vocal about what you want and need to have a positive experience. Be honest and open with your roommate. And of course, be willing to compromise too.

Taking the time to get to know each other and establish the necessary ground rules can make the dorm experience a lot less intimidating, and it can help you and your roommate build a strong foundation for a lasting relationship too.