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On Choosing New Roommates: How To Find the Perfect Fit

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Whether you’re moving out of your freshman dorm into the unfamiliar territory of independent, apartment living, or you’ve been navigating adulthood for a while now and are looking to uproot your current housing situation… There are many things to consider throughout the process of selecting new roomies, flatmates, bunk buddies and everything in between. Although a year or two may not initially seem like an extensive amount of time, sharing a living space with one or more individual involves long-term commitment. Just like any other relationship, compatibility and communication is key! Behold, the ultimate guide to choosing your ideal roommate(s).   


I believe it’s important to consider your cost of living before anything else. Although I will discuss this in the following question, how much you are willing to spend on rent will directly affect the number of people you should choose to live with. Generally speaking, it is cheaper to live with a larger group. You must also have an open discussion with your potential roommates about affordability. Keep in mind that your personal financial circumstances may not be aligned with others’.

How many people would you be comfortable sharing a living space with? 

Now, this question is mostly geared towards those who are going to be living with roommates for the first time. On one hand, the thought of a full house is exciting and seems like tons of fun! On the other, a more intimate group, or even living by yourself, may be more appealing to you. When deciding on the number of people you want to live with, think about how you choose to spend most of your time. Do you like the idea of constantly being in the company of others and planning your days out as part of a collective? Or, do you prefer being more independent and highly value your alone time? 

Overly-tidy? A hot mess? Or a happy medium between the two?

I’m practically begging you to be honest with yourself when determining what level of cleanliness and organization you are most suited to live with. Do you find there’s a method to the madness when keeping your room a little un-done? Are you immediately stressed out when there are still dishes in the sink? To avoid kerfuffles about keeping your shared living space clean, I’d advise you to consider your own habits and those of your potential roomies. You may not care now, but I can assure you — tensions may arise. If you are absolutely committed to living with certain people regardless of their organizational tendencies (or lack thereof), make sure to communicate your needs in a healthy manner!

Night Owls and Early Risers 

Although it’s very possible for these two types of people to live together in harmony, you must consider the level of noise you produce during the day and/or at night. Whatever it is that you get up to at every hour, it would be easier for everyone if you had a similar routine. If you tend to get up to some midnight shenanigans, that may not sit well with an early bird’s morning grind… 

Roomies and Relationships 

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, ask yourself if you would be comfortable with your housemates’ significant others possibly sharing your living space for extended periods of time. Conversely, ask them if they would be okay with your significant other doing the same. 

The COVID Question… 

In light of the global pandemic, I thought it was necessary to address this. This goes without saying, but you must consider your own safety. Ideally, you and your housemates should have the same small bubble. However, if that is not the case, please have a discussion about each other’s whereabouts throughout this difficult time. You must also ask yourself: who would you be able to power through this lockdown with? Who will keep your spirits uplifted, your mind motivated, and sanity at bay when stuck indoors?

Living with your best friend: Is it really a good idea?

There is no doubt that sharing a living space with your best friend could be a great decision. You do everything together, have an amazing time with one another and have already built a strong foundation of trust. However, take into consideration whether or not you and your twin flame would benefit more from living separately. Do not simply base your decision on how much you like someone or enjoy their company. I’d suggest you both contemplate how your relationship dynamics may be affected by moving in together. In fact, take some time to re-read this guide, to see if this would be the right fit for your circumstances!

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Bo Madrid

McGill '22

Bo is a Third-year student at McGill, majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Communication Studies. Born in Manila, Philippines, she now lives in Vancouver, BC. Her passions include writing, fitness and creating visual art.
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