(Alexa Willms)

Alexa Willms

The Ideal Roommate Finder

May 2, 2019

Up until freshman year of college, chances are that the only person you’ve ever had to share a bedroom with is yourself, or someone you’re really close to. When the time comes to find a college roommate, the ideal person to share a room with is someone who is just like you. Many colleges nowadays have a system to find the perfect roommate through apps and Instagram pages. You can write a little biography about yourself and search through classmates within your housing and find the perfect match. It’s easier said than done to pick out the person you have to spend every day with for the most pivotal year of your life, so here are a couple of tips on what to look for when searching for your soul-roommate.

Tip #1- Don’t expect to be best friends. Many seniors in high school assume it will be really easy to live with someone who is your best friend already. Or they expect their roommate to be their bestie throughout college. Both are possible occurrences, but depending on your personality and the way you live, the person you live with may not be the person you want to hang out with outside of dorm life. Sometimes, the best friendships happen when you allow some distance between the two of you so you don’t get sick of each other. This doesn’t mean your roommate won’t be one of your good friends, but don’t feel like your forced to be or else the relationship could fall apart.

Tip #2- You have to ask some hard questions. Most dorms don’t have a lot of individual space to do things in private. Ask about things such as drug use, work schedule, and health problems. The last thing you want to do is be used to falling asleep around 9:30 pm every night and then find out that your roommate stays up/out until 3 am every night. If you have a problem with vaping, cigarettes, etc., that may be a deal breaker for the other person. Sometimes, these questions lead to uncomfortable conversations, but they need to be brought up to avoid fights and annoyance later on down the road.

Tip #3- Make sure to also address the easy questions. Things such as eating habits, whether or not the like the room hot or cold, if they plan on having friends over, etc. are all easy questions that can sometimes be forgotten. If these easier questions are left lingering, they can turn into bigger problems later on. Avoid immature fights about the thermostat and don’t find yourself getting angry when they bring your friends over and you’re trying to study. Establish those boundaries and discuss studying schedules so you can avoid getting in the others way.

Tip #4-  This may be a no-brainer, but make sure you get along. Chances are, you won’t find an identical version of yourself as a roommate. You could get lucky and find someone with similar music taste as you, likes the same sport, or even enjoys the same genre of movie. There are some things that bother certain people more than others. For example, if you’re a neat freak, discuss this with your roommate. If you need the tv on to fall asleep, make sure your roommate knows! There are different quirks that everyone has but problems can be avoided if you address your likes and dislikes straight away.

Tip #5- Last but not least, make sure you both can contribute to your space. College is a tough time when it comes to finances and keeping other things of your life in check. Set up a balanced system to determine who buys what and who does “chores” around the dorm. The dorm may be small, but like any other room, it can get messy. Having fights about who was the last one to drink the milk or use the last bit of the shampoo is a waste of time and can easily be avoided with communication. Also, when decorating your space, make sure you mesh both of your personalities. Collaborate on designs instead of competing and allow equal space for both of you to function properly.  

Finding a roommate that fits your “ideal picture perfect person” isn’t always easy. The key to finding the right person is to be open and flexible. College isn’t meant to be luxurious like a resort hotel. There will be certain things you may have to compromise on with the person you are living with. Don’t let it ruin your experience if your roommate likes rap music and you like rock. Enjoy the things about your roommate that you do have in common and who knows, you may find yourself trying something new and enjoying it too.


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