From Strangers to Soulmates: How to Find That Perfect Roommate

Finding a roommate can be the most nerve-racking thing about attending college because you’ll be stuck with that one person or group for a whole year. For me, it was the one thing I dreaded because I don’t have any hometown friends to live with. Thus, I found myself spending weeks searching through the endless bounds of RoomSync and waited for anyone to match with me.

In the middle of March in 2017, I received a message on Instagram from someone who found me on the website and wanted to be roommates! As we started talking, it felt like we were siblings separated at birth because we had so much in common. We both decided that we wanted to try a triple in Broward Hall, so we began searching again for another person. Although the first roommate we picked did not work out well, halfway through our freshman year, we were notified that the third lonely bed that occupied our room was going to be filled. Kelsey (my original roomie) and I, being our introverted selves, were flipping out.

We had no idea what we were getting into, and we were terrified it wouldn’t work out again. I walked in one day to find bags on the floor, the bed made and a girl with long brown hair and glasses sitting in the desk chair. I was not expecting her to move in so quickly, so I was startled, and I probably scared her with my shocked look. That night, Kelsey and I had planned to go to Cookigazm (the first reason why we’re roommates) and so we invited Rafaela, our new roommate, to tag along. Clearly, our weirdness and obsession with Snoop Dogg memes didn’t scare her away, and I think she warmed up to us after watching us shovel a red-velvet, Oreo-infused monster of a cookie down our throats. Now we practically go everywhere together, and if I have problems, they are my go-to gals to help me cheer up.

The countless memories I have made with my roommates have made my college experience amazing. From blasting Big Sean at 2 am and getting noise complaints, to getting matching tattoos in questionable places, the love I have for my roommates is boundless, and I am so glad we found each other!

If you are struggling to find that perfect roomie that gets you, here are a few tips that I learned even while being an introvert.

1. Don’t be afraid to be strict with your preferences.

You wouldn’t want to get a roommate who doesn’t fit your sleeping schedule or does sketchy things in the room. Usually on apps like RoomSync, they’ll give you a list of preferences such as room temperature, bedtime, etc. and ask you to rate them on importance.

2. Meet each other before for lunch or coffee if you can to get to know each other better.

Unfortunately, because I was 12 hours from Florida, I was forced to do Skype sessions with my roommates. Although it was nice to at least see them live, you truly don’t get to know a person unless you meet face-to-face.

3. Be your authentic self around them so you make sure they can tolerate you.

I have a hard time opening up to people (yay for introverts) so the first time I skyped my roommates I hardly talked. Luckily, we can tolerate each other’s weirdness now, but sometimes things can end badly if you don’t show your real personality.

4. Although it may be a little crazy, take your roommates on vacation with you!

The summer before, my roommates went with my family and I to the beach. It was a lot of fun, and I got to know them even more. If you are in the same situation as I was, and travel isn’t easy, invite them to visit you and show them around your hometown. Any opportunity to show them your true self and what you do is awesome for getting acquainted with a possible roomie!

5. Don’t live in a single dorm your freshman year.

It may seem tempting if you don’t know anyone, but I almost made this mistake. It was my parents who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. I also realized later on that my roommates could probably end up being some of my closest friends, like a second family, and I really needed that being 12 hours from home.

Don’t stress about finding your “soul roommate” because sometimes things will fall into place and everything will work out perfectly. Looking back, the whole roommate process was quite fun, and it was a glimpse into the real independence of the college world. Kelsey and Rafaela are like sisters to me, and I wouldn’t trade them for any other roommates in the world.