When it’s time for you to finally take flight away from under the wings of your parents and into a university environment, you’ll encounter something I like to call the roommate dilemma.
Ah yes, figuring out that one friend or maybe even a stranger that you will need to dedicate the next year to living with once you transfer schools can be quite the challenge. However, with thousands of incoming perplexed students facing the same problem of not knowing who to room with, you’re bound to find someone out of the bunch that works for you.
Maybe you are lucky enough to already have a friend who is going to the same school as you! Just because you guys both like spending some time together does not necessarily mean that you will be compatible living partners. Think about whether or not you could tolerate living with your friend all the time everyday and then consider their study habits, bedtime and thoughts on the use of substances. If your friend loves to stay out all night and just wants to embrace the college experience, and all you want is to stay at home and work on your homework, then living together can turn ugly.
Many universities with on-campus housing will offer virtual sites that are designed like an online dating site, but will instead help people find their perfect roommate. Take it seriously when filling it out so that you have the maximum matches.
Another way to meet incoming students and potential roommates is to join the Facebook group page for incoming students to the university you are transferring to. Many people will post roommate ads. If you decide you want to advertise yourself to find the perfect roommate for you, be explicitly clear on what you like, will not tolerate and what you are looking for. Mention what time you like to go to bed, how much noise you can handle in the room, your policy on visitors, alcohol, drugs and cleanliness.
When I made an ad, I literally made a list of what my living habits were and how I feel toward particular behaviors of others.
Make sure you begin your ad with where you want to live! With many places to live on campus, it would totally suck if you found your ideal roommate just to find out they want to live in the one place you despise.
I must emphasize the need to be very specific about your values and living space. If someone does not fit one of your needs, then you can face potential conflicts for the future. Even if you are desperate to find a roommate, do not room with someone if they fail to meet some of your requirements.
When surveying potential candidates, eliminate those with poor communication skills, do not seem trustworthy or are overall unfriendly. You don’t have to be best friends with the person you are rooming with, but you need to establish rules and set boundaries.
If all else fails, you can be daring and have the school assign a random room at random.
Picking a random roommate can be a hit or miss, but if you honestly don’t care who you room with, this could be the best option.
Enjoy your hunt for a roommate and best of luck.