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Pro Tip: Give Random Rooming a Shot

Being a college student requires that you makes choices on the daily, and one of the most important is deciding who to live with. For many people, this process can be overwhelming, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. While there is sometimes a stigma against choosing random rooming, there are many reasons why it may actually be the most positive choice for you.

1. There’s no pressure to be best friends.

Many people choose their roommates, often without even really knowing how well they will actually live together. Let’s face it, there’s a HUGE difference between being good friends with someone and being good roommates. You could get along great with someone, but after being confined in a small dorm together, those feelings could quickly change. The great thing about doing a random pairing is that it removes the expectation that you have to be best friends. If you find that your personalities clash, there are no hard feelings and you can find a way to live cooperatively together without spending every waking moment of the day together.

2. … But you may be a perfect match.

On the other hand, you could become amazing friends with your roommate. The trick is having no expectation. Sometimes we tend to choose roommates who seem similar to ourselves, but you may find that you get along great with the random person you’re matched with. This is a great opportunity to expand your friendship circle and meet people you wouldn’t normally encounter.

3. Random roommates tend to create a polite environment.

This is something we’ve all experienced once or twice in our lives; that moment when you become so close with your friend that they’re more like a sister. This is obviously an exciting moment in a friendship, but it also means that you become so comfortable that manners go right out the door. If you’re rooming with a random person, it’s more likely that your room will be a very polite environment since you have not yet achieved the level of friendship where it’s acceptable to turn on the lights when the other person is sleeping or slam the door obnoxiously loud.

4. No history with someone = a chance to openly discuss personal boundaries.

In many friendships, it’s completely normal to model the relationship after the motto “what’s mine is yours.” However, this communal way of living is not for everyone (and even in your close friendships, it doesn’t have to work that way, but it often can!) Choosing a random roommate will allow you to discuss the type of boundaries work well for you and figure out whether you prefer privacy and separation of possessions. You can each buy your own snacks, have your own clothes, and if you really want, stick to your own sides of the room.

5. You’ll have more alone time.

While spending time with friends is always a blast, most of us can agree that sometimes we yearn for some much-needed alone time. If you room with your best friend, it can feel like there’s no escape from the constant chit chat. Being able to go back to your room, put in some headphones, and get some peace and quiet is a great option to have — especially after a full day of classes, extracurricular activities and socializing. With a random roommate, your dorm room could be the sanctuary you need in order to fulfill that quality you-time.

6. Your roommate could provide an outside perspective.

Don’t assume that you and your random roommate will necessarily lead completely separate lives. Having an outside friend to offer perspective and advice can be an extremely useful and enlightening opportunity — that is, if you end up developing a relationship that fosters those types of conversations.

7. YOLO.

As you embark on this unfamiliar and exciting journey, sometimes the best decision is to just let go of the wheel and see where life takes you. The unknown can be scary, but sometimes you may be pleasantly surprised by what happens when you let fate take its course. No matter what situation you end up in, it’s all about the experience you gained! (Plus, rooming isn’t permanent. In the worst case scenario, you always have the option to switch dorms.)

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4

Erica Dougherty

U Mass Amherst '21

Erica is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is an Operations and Information Management major in the Isenberg School of Management and she enjoys utilizing Her Campus as a creative outlet for her more artistic side. Erica loves spending time with friends, watching movies, and eating ice cream!
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