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How to Choose a College Roommate

by Flora Richards-Gustafson

A good college roommate makes dorm life enjoyable and can become a friend for life. A good roommate is respectful, thoughtful of your privacy and supports your academic endeavors. Because you’re stuck with this person for about eight months, it’s to your advantage to choose a college roommate who compliments your habits, goals and preferences.

Questionnaire

Many colleges choose your freshman college roommate for you. When this is the case, the campus life office will send you a questionnaire to learn more about your habits and preferences. The survey will ask you about your sleeping habits, preferred study environment and how you feel about your personal space. You’ll also answer questions about how tidy you are, your hobbies and your feelings about others borrowing your belongings. To help your college pair you with a good match, answer the questionnaire honestly even if you think your answers make you look bad.

Carefully Consider Your Best Friend

If you have the option to choose your own college roommate, keep in mind that best friends don’t always make the best roommates. In the “U.S. News” article, “How to Choose and Keep a College Roommate,” Julie Mayfield and Lindsey Mayfield suggest sharing a room with someone who isn’t your best friend can help preserve your relationship. While you and your best friend might be a great match socially, you might not be compatible roommates. If you haven’t lived under the same roof as your best friend for an extended period, consider choosing a friend or acquaintance who has similar living and study habits as you.

Go Online

Some colleges and social media sites allow you to search for a new roommate by browsing the profiles of other students. To help you narrow your choices, a college roommate matchmaking site might have you fill out a roommate questionnaire about your preferences. After you find some potential matches, you can send a message to the other individuals and look at their social media profiles to learn more about them.

Ask the Important Questions

When a college gives you the opportunity to choose your own roommate, interview and vet the individuals on your short list. Learn how a potential roommate feels about dorm visitors and your music preferences. Determine if you have similar sleeping and study habits. Learn about the common interests the two of you have. If it’s of importance to you, ask a potential roommate about his religious views or practices. If you know who an individual’s past roommates are, ask them about their experiences with the person.

Photo Credits

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