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Your Roommate Doesn’t Need To Be Your Best Friend: Tips for Finding a Roommate!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

To all the new Bruins reading this… welcome to UCLA! I know you’re feeling a lot of things: excitement, anticipation, and above all, confusion and anxiety as to how you’re going to find a roommate(s) to live with this upcoming fall.

As an out-of-state student who didn’t know anybody else in her area coming in as a freshman, I turned to my next best choice — the UCLA Class of 2027 Instagram page. Basically like Tinder for finding a roommate, I posted my slide of 10 pictures with my carefully crafted caption and began the journey of DMing and sifting through DMs in order to find my dream roommate.

Looking back at this time after many awkward conversations and “what’s your major?”’s later, I can say I’m more than content with how my roommate situation turned out. I’m happily settled with my two roommates — one of which is random — and like the title says, we’re not best friends. I know that might be a jarring idea to those who envision their roommates being their ride-or-dies throughout all of college, but I’m really happy with it. The three of us are close, but all have our own separate lives. We each have our own separate groups of friends, hobbies, and passions, but still have so much fun when we get meals or are in the room together. 

Even if this kind of living situation doesn’t sound right up your alley, I hope I can still give you insight into choosing a roommate!

Understand Your Personal Preferences and Needs

Above all else, choosing a roommate means choosing someone you know you’ll live well with. By understanding your own personal preferences and needs, like when you want to go to sleep, whether or not you’re okay with having guests, and what time you wake up in the morning, you’re best set for a happy rooming experience. There’s always room for compromise too, but as you’re choosing roommates be mindful and honest about your own personal preferences. You’ll be much happier in the long run!

Vibe Check

I say this with a grain of salt, and with the reminder to never judge a book by its cover. But, if you’re like me and you’re choosing your roommate off of Instagram, notice what interests, hobbies, or passions you might have in common with someone. Like, if you’re interested in hiking and being outside, be outgoing and reach out to a person you see who shares those interests! How I found my roommate was by chatting about skiing, being from the Northeast, and our shared love for pasta. Even if you don’t end up developing a relationship and deciding to room together, it’ll still be one more familiar face on campus when you arrive.

Chat It Up

Like I said before, finding a roommate off of Instagram is like Tinder for finding a roommate. Thus, you have to chat it up like there’s no tomorrow. My recipe was this: introduce myself, comment about something in their bio or one of their photos, and then proceed the conversation by asking about their major or some other interest we shared. Although it was painfully awkward at times, striking up a good conversation was a gem — I’m still friends and get dinner with one or two people I had good conversations with! 

Be Proactive

Okay, let’s say that you’ve been talking to a couple of people over Instagram and think you’ve found a person you want to room with. Ask them upfront about it! Odds are, if you’re having a fun conversation, share similar interests, and have the same preferences, they probably want to room with you too. Therefore, be proactive. Ask them upfront, and get onto filling your forms, thinking of what room type you’d prefer, and completing all your necessary to-dos over the summer.

Let’s be honest; we all wish that we could just wake up and suddenly be connected to the most perfect person to be our roommate. But rooming with someone takes compromise, understanding, empathy, and maturity. Living with someone else — especially if it’s your first time — isn’t an easy feat and takes time to get used to. So, whether you’re searching for a roommate or trying to navigate your roomie relationship, give yourself and your roommate time to get to know each other and look forward to living together in the fall!

Annie is a first-year student at UCLA from Connecticut majoring in Political Science and Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences. In her free time she loves dancing, working out, and baking.