Nah…you shouldn’t get a random roommate


Alice Zheng

Alice Zheng (‘17, right) with her roommate Kelsey Cho (left) from Nazareth Academy, IL.

There’s a common misconception that you must choose your best friend when picking a college roommate. In fact, when choosing a roommate, you don’t even have to pick someone you know! Choosing your roommate is about finding the happy medium – finding someone who you can mostly tolerate and who you know is not a serial killer.

On the spectrum of choosing roommates, it’s one step above leaving your fate to a computer algorithm and one step below picking your best friend.

Although it is tempting, living with your best friend may not be the best idea. You and your friend may hang around the same crowd and laugh at the same jokes, but your living styles may not mesh well. Your friend may go to sleep at midnight, while you may want to sleep at 10:00 p.m. Being around your friend 24/7 can strain your friendship.

Conversely, going completely “random” may be a little dangerous. A random roommate may disrupt your good habits and influence you to pick up bad ones. You do not want to be the next college student on the news for being found at the bottom of a river.

The best option is finding someone who you are not entirely close with, but have a mutual baseline of trust and understanding. This can be someone you found through social media or roommate matching programs after extensive “research” (aka Facebook/Twitter/Instagram stalking).

It’s easy to find your roommate. Many colleges utilize programs such as Roomsync or social media sites, like Facebook, to match roommates. It’s like Tinder, but for college roommates. You can select your sleep preferences, study habits, party schedules, hobbies, and many others to find your roommate match.

However, like online dating, potential roommates may put their best foot forward and not show their ugly side. This is where social media stalking comes in handy.

You have options. You can pick a person who is in your major or has a common goal, so they can push you towards success. Alternately, you could pick a friend in a different major to learn about new subjects and hobbies. It really depends on what you want out of your college experience, but at least you will have control over it.

You know what to expect. If you are someone who likes to plan things out, choosing your roommate may be the better option for you. Make planning the room easier. Who’s bringing the fridge? What’s the color scheme? You can agree on how you want to use the dorm as well – as a study space or a social space, or as a mix.

Going random is either a win or lose situation. Choosing your roommate is like the middle ground. It’s best when you go with the safer option, especially when you will be living in a space where you can touch both walls without fully extending your arms. College is a time for you to take control of your future. Why not start by choosing your college roommate?