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6 Tips On How to Pick A Compatible Roommate

Whether it’s the traditional university experience or the fact that single rooms have a higher cost, most students in their first year (living in residence) will end up with a roommate. A roommate is the first friend you make on campus and the person you are likely going to hang out with for the first couple of months. However, due to the fact that you must spend most of your days together, problems can arise. Here are some tricks on choosing a roommate that is best suited for you and how to avoid little hiccups that may arise.

1.Do not play the roommate roulette game where you get paired up with someone unknown.

We’ve all heard that one roommate horror story where they were stealing all your friend’s stuff or they were letting food rot in the room. University online matchup systems are not nearly detailed enough to pair you with someone you would actually consider living with. Choose to join an online group where you can meet people with similar interests such as Facebook groups. Talk with several people and see what their expectations of living in the same room should be. Messy or clean? Loud or quiet? What do they define by “messy”, etc. This can prevent problems from happening down the road and this also allows you to make a friend on campus even before you arrive!


2.Compare values.

Finding a roommate with similar values is a plus in finding someone that is compatible. If your potential roommate would rather party instead of studying and you’re the opposite, it’s probably not a good idea to pair up. In order to respect each other, having similar things you hold dear simply works out better in the end.


3.Do not live with your childhood best friend.

Simply because you two are friends does not mean you are suited to live with each other. If you’ve done it before and know that you haven’t had issues, then go for it! However, living with someone 24/7 and hanging out with them is a totally different story. Many people end up with broken friendships if problems arrive at your new home. If you do chose to live with your best friend, be aware that things might not always be lovey-dovey.


4.Set up rules during the first few days after move-in.

There’s passive ways to set up ground rules with your new roommate and this should be done in order to prevent as many hiccups as possible. The most common ones are: “If you come home later than 2 am, be quiet”, or even “No smelly garbage in the room overnight”, etc. Without these boundaries, you may start a fight over something trivial that could have been avoided from the beginning. If there is ever anything that your roommate does and that is bothering you, make sure to talk to them about it or the problem can’t get resolved.


5.Make friends other than your roommate.

Seeing the same person everyday can get tiring even if you two get along great. It’s important to have a couple of friends you can hang out and have fun with that aren’t the person who’s face you see at the crack of dawn. This will also help prevent you from starting arguments just for the sake of it. (Don’t deny it, we’ve all done it before). Having friends in different programs than you also help diversifying your conversations and stop you from always thinking about all those assignments you should be working on instead of procrastinating.  


6.Find things you have in common.

Finding similarities between the two of you will help you have conversation topics. The more you talk, the easier it is to build friendships. It’s good to have someone to talk to when you’re having a hard time dealing with homesickness or stress. Who knows, maybe they’ll be experiencing the same thing as you?  

Emilie Kelly is the University of Guelph's Chapter Co-Correspondent! She is a Phase 1 OVC student who loves to spend her time with horses, cats, dogs, cows; you name it! (That does indeed make her an Aggie!) You can contact her in French, English, or even Japanese. 
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