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Tips for Choosing Your Perfect College Roommate

Choosing a college roommate is a big deal. It can make or break your first semester of your college experience. That being said, here are some tips for choosing your perfect college roommate:

Don’t room with someone you know

While it may seem comforting, rooming with someone you know can be detrimental. It can ruin an already great existing friendship, or it can hinder you both from making new friends. One of my best friends and I decided not to room together in college, and we both agree it was a great decision. We were both made separate friends and were able to introduce each other to those friends, creating more friendship opportunities for the both of us. Had we roomed together, we might not have made the same amazing friends we have today.

Know the kind of person you want

It’s important that when you start talking to potential roomies to know what you want out of a roommate. Do you want a best friend or just someone you can stand living with? What kind of person would you want to be living in your only private space on campus? Its okay to be picky when choosing. You will be spending lots of time with this person over the course of a year, so make sure you like them. Doing some self reflection before getting the process started can be beneficial in the long run.

Talk to lots of people

At Elizabethtown, they made an accepted students private Facebook group for my class year. Everyone posted about themselves in this group and people messaged to get to know each other. People would find others who had things in common with them, and then start to talk and get to know them. Sometimes these chats ended in finding a roommate, and other times it just enabled them to get to know someone they’d be spending the next four years with.

Ask lots of questions

If you find yourself talking to someone about rooming, don’t be afraid to ask the important questions. Just as well, be able to answers these questions about yourself. When do you go to bed and when do you wake up? What are your study habits like? Are you planning on going to lots of parties in college? Are you messy or a neat freak? If you don’t ask these questions beforehand, you could find yourself in pretty sticky situations. Nothing’s worse than walking into your room at 8:30 p.m. and finding your roommate already asleep with all the lights out, especially when you have a full night of work ahead of you.

Don’t be afraid to pick someone who is different from you

While it’s important to have similar sleeping patterns as your roommate, don’t be afraid to room with someone with a different major or interests. My friend is a big music and theatre nerd, while her roommate is an athletic softball player. They aren’t best friends, but they work well as roomies. They get along, respect each other, and enjoy each others company. Sometimes opposites just attract, or in this case, make really good roommates!

There’s a lot to think about when picking a roommate, and it can be a little nerve wracking. However, there are so many proactive things you can do when choosing a roommate.  If in the processing of finding someone you remain open minded and positive, you will find the roomie for you no matter what.


Julia Middleton

Elizabethtown '22

Julia is a communications major and arts administration minor at Elizabethtown College.
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