Whether you’re a freshman adjusting to dorm life or moving into a house with a roommate you found on Craigslist, moving in with a stranger can be a little bit awkward. Here are ten of the best ways to alleviate the weirdness with your newfound “roomie” and help break the ice while also exploring Missoula.
1. Grab a bite to eat.
Both of you will be eating many meals at the Food Zoo so get out of the room and try out your new dining hall! The omelet bar on Saturdays and Sundays will become your new best friend. Try the Galloping Grizzly food truck which parks at various locations across campus and street food for less than $5.
Insider Tip: Chicken strip night in the Food Zoo is very popular and delicious – don’t miss it!
2. Set some boundaries.
Spare yourself a future argument and learn each other’s biggest gripes. Are you a Type A person that is going to be bothered by a Type B person’s dirty dishes? Have a chat so you know what to expect of one another.
Insider Tip: Be considerate, but make sure you are honest.
3. When in doubt, ice cream it out.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Luckily, just a short walk away from campus on Missoula’s Hip Strip, Big Dipper Ice Cream. The lines tend to be longer during the first few weeks of the semester, so you two will have plenty of bonding time.
Insider Tip: Every flavor is amazing, however the Brntly crew thinks that Huckleberry and Lemon Custard are the best.
4. Stand in the center of the Oval and…
…Clap your hands! It’s a freshman right of passage to stand in the center of the Oval on the ‘Lux Et Veritas’ crest and clap. Be sure to listen for what happens next. This is a good way to be silly and alleviate the awkwardness.
5. Hike the M
Hiking the M is another respected tradition among many Grizzly students. The great thing about the M is that it’s literally right out the back door, making it accessible to you any time of day or night! If you’re feeling ambitious you can hike all the way to the top of Mount Sentinel. There is a cool spot along the way with a cave.
Insider Tip: Hiking the L is another great option too, plus it’s typically less crowded.
6.Do your laundry together
Whether you live on campus or in an apartment facility, doing laundry in any place but your home can feel like a daunting task. Grab your hamper and head to the laundromat! If you don’t live on campus Sparkle Laundromat is facility that offers concessions. They sell pizza and hot dogs! Green Hanger is another cool option that offers a $1-per-pound laundry drop-off, where Green Hanger will do your laundry for you while you explore more of downtown Missoula. Green Hanger offers free laundry soap, Wi-Fi and coffee too!
7. Farmers Market festivities
The Saturday Farmers Market and corresponding People’s Market and Clark Fork Market run from the end of April to early October in Missoula from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Trust us, it is NOT to be missed. The Farmers Market, located just east of the XXXX’s on Higgins, includes local vendors with seasonal fruits and veggies. A few blocks south, the People’s Market offers one-of-a-kind hand-crafter goods and art. The Clark Fork Market under the Higgins Avenue bridge showcases a little bit of everything. Usually a few street performances can be spotted, too, and add a little bit of culture.
Insider Tip: Some of the vendors lower their prices around noon. If you ask, you might be able to score four cucumbers for $1 instead of the advertised $3.
8. Challenge your competitive spirit
The Game Room behind Pizza Hut in the UC has an arcade where you can play pool or table tennis for $4/hour with a Griz Card. You could really bond by entering a tournament together. The UC also has the Student Involvement Network, which offers volunteering activities, leadership workshops and other ways to get involved on campus.
Insider Tip: The Game Room is free during Family Weekend October 23-25.
9. Tour de Facebook
Sometimes when prompted with the classic question, “Tell me a little bit about yourself,” it may be a little difficult to formulate exactly how to respond. Grab a coffee at one of the coffee shops on campus and sit down with your roommate and a laptop and take a social media tour. . Show each other your hometown friends, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, family members and most epic vacation photos. You may discover you have a mutual friend!
10. Work it out
Maybe you’re both curious to try out a Zumba or AbLab class or just need a way to blow off steam. Try a fitness class at the Campus Fitness and Recreation Center or a jog on the Kim Williams Trail. Another good option is to explore the trips the Outdoor Program offers and to sign up for one together.