As things slowly return back to normal, the start of a (potentially) in-person school year next Fall brings about a lot of excitement. Next year, incoming freshmen will be experiencing the UCLA campus for the first time! But, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind as you plan for Fall 2021. One of these is your housing situation, which may include finding roommates.
First things first, how do you actually find potential roommates? In the remote environment, connecting with people can be challenging and daunting but there are numerous resources to alleviate the stress. Most colleges have designated Facebook groups or Instagram pages to help students find roommates. Try to join these groups and either be on the lookout for other people’s postings or even post your own! These posts usually include some photos, a brief introduction to yourself along and your housing preferences. Feel free to keep it casual, show your personality and be yourself!
Once you meet someone that you think could be compatible with you, shoot them a direct message. While this might seem awkward or daunting don’t stress too much about it. Chances are, everyone else also feels nervous to reach out first so just go for it and don’t think too much. If you need some fun and casual icebreakers, talk about your classes, hobbies, music, favorite Netflix shows, food, or literally anything else!
When you start talking with this person, try to really think about whether or not you both would be happy sharing a living space with one another. While obviously, you shouldn’t be too unreasonable, it’s important to be relatively picky when it comes to roommates. You will be living with this person for one whole year and it would be a lot easier to identify the potential issues now rather than have them awkwardly come up down the road. Really ask yourself what your living preferences are (alcohol consumption, smoking, noise, cleanliness, etc.), and be transparent about communicating this with the other person. At the same time, ask the person what their preferences are to see if you guys have similar preferences or if you both would be willing to compromise if there are differences.
Once you sort those preferences out, it’s time to take things further from just texting! If you met this person over social media, try to schedule some time to meet in person (safely and socially distanced) or a virtual hangout! This is a great opportunity to get to know each other better in a fun and low-pressure environment.
While it can be great to find new friends and meet new people from these online platforms, don’t forget to use other resources in your roommate hunt! Try reaching out to some of your classmates or even other students in campus organizations that you're involved in.
Whatever path you choose, finding roommates should be a fun and relaxing experience! Don’t stress too much about it and enjoy all the conversations and interactions you have with people you reach out to, even if they don’t end up being your roommate in the end.