By: Isabelle Mokotoff
When choosing a college roommate, much thought needs to be put into the process; a college roommate is someone who you will spend several hours of every day with and, ideally, is someone with whom you cultivate a deep and meaningful friendship. While “going random” will sometimes result in a pleasant surprise, more often than not I’ve heard that the matches born from those pairings aren’t ideal. And for those going off to college with a close friend, I urge you not to room with each other! Anecdotally, I’ve heard of dozens of tightknit friends-turned-roommates growing sick of each other and, ultimately, resenting one another. And so the question arises, how should you go about selecting a roommate? As someone currently searching for a roommate, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile the steps of a process that has worked for me.
- Firstly, take advantage of social media! I’ve searched for fellow incoming freshmen via Instagram and Facebook; when looking for ideal pairings, seek out people with which you have one or two hobbies or identities in common. Once you’ve found a few people with which you share commonalities, reach out to them through a direct message on social media. Here are examples of messages I’ve sent or messages that have been sent to me that set the tone for productive conversations in the future:
- “Hey! I’m XXX and I’m going to NU next year too! I’m friends with XXX (a mutual friend) from summer camp and she told me I should connect with you, I was in BBYO (a Jewish youth organization) for a little while and noticed you were also! Lmk (let me know) if you wanna chat and get to know each other before school starts up!:)”
- “hi! tbh (to be honest) I’m not entirely sure what the etiquette is when looking for a roommate so sorry if this is a little out there but would you wanna discuss interests/personalities via facetime sometime this week to see if we would potentially be good roommates? you seem so nice in the nu 2024 sc group (group chat on the social media platform Snapchat) and I really like your insta feed (the way in which she has curated the images on her Instagram account) so I figured there might be promise there for a good roommate dynamic or, at the least, a friendship :)”
As you will notice, the diction is very informal and easygoing. This was purposeful. I’ve found my efforts in finding a roommate were more effective when you begin to reach out in a nonchalant tone.
- Once you started a friendly rapport, begin to ask each other questions about your respective lifestyles. You want to ensure you won’t drive each other crazy living with one another! Along with the questions I’ve created below, make sure to ask any questions you think would heavily impact your day-to-day lives:
- Where do you work best? Can you study with others? How would you feel if I stayed up late studying in our dorm?
- What type of food do you like? Do you have any food allergies? How often do you see yourself cooking in our dorm room?
- Are you a messy or clean person?
- Are you an early bird or late-night person?
- Could people come into our dorms without making plans with each other first?
- How do you feel about borrowing each other’s things?
- Could we mutually invest in some “dorm room stuff” (examples include coffee machine, mini-fridge, and crockpots)?
- Does snoring or sleep talking bother you?
As our senior Spartans get ready for the next chapter in their lives, I hope that this article takes a little bit of stress off the arduous transition to college. Happy roomie-hunting Spartans!