How To Find The PERFECT College Roommate Your Freshman Year

How To Find The PERFECT College Roommate Your Freshman Year

Find someone who will you keep you sane rather than drive you insane!
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Freshman year of college. Okay, it’s already difficult enough that you’re moving out of your home and leaving people you have been with your whole life but now you have to move in with someone you barely know anything about? You have to learn their schedules and pet-peeves and all the other ins and outs of their lives. But, also keep in mind that your college roommate does not have to be your best friend, most likely they won't be. You will most likely be so nervous you won’t even remember your own. So, allow me to just help you out… since I have been in your shoes before.

1. Don’t be too straight forward

Okay, I know you really want to find a roommate so you don’t have to worry about it anymore but I highly suggest not just messaging a random person and asking to be their roommate off the get-go. Why? Well, you definitely need time to get to know them because you will spend a decent chunk a time with this person. Connecting with this person and having similar interests is extremely important. By similar interests I mean both liking sports, music, having the same major, etc.

2. Don’t be too open minded

Being judgmental is completely okay when looking for a future roommate. Going through their posts helps you see what they are all about and also what all their friends from home are all about. If they only seem to party and you intend to spend a lot of your time studying and stay in, they probably are not the one for you. Yes, it is important to go out of your comfort zone in college but I would be careful to not stray too far away when looking for who you will be living with. If you feel like something is a red flag, they are a no go.

3. Don’t live with someone you are going to be with all the time

This is easily one of the most important rules when finding your roommate. Don’t room with someone just because they are doing the same activities as you. (Sports, band, clubs, etc.) One reason is because if you are living with someone that you are with not only inside the room, but also outside you are bound to get sick of each other and fight. Also, having a roommate involved in separate things throughout campus could help you get involved in new things!

4. Meet up with them before you officially decide to live together

Okay, meet up with your potential future roommate before deciding to make sure they exist. (hahaha, jk… kinda) But seriously, you really can’t judge someone's character until you are face to face with them. Yes, it may be awkward but it’s better to be awkward now than when you move-in to school. Also, make sure you know the difference between awkward and uncomfortable because if you are uncomfortable with them, you don’t want to live with them for a year. You do this before committing because you can still back out if you aren’t all about living with them.

5. Talk about your sleeping habits

If you guys are anything like me, this is an important one. I like to get at least one nap in a day and that normally occurs right after my classes so when I wake up from my nap I have a tendency to do homework until 1 or 2 in the morning. To some people this could be a problem. I have plenty of college friends who try to be in bed by 10 or 11 and I know that they would be extremely upset if their roommate was up all night with the lights on or banging around keeping them awake. My roommate and I have the same schedule in this sense and honestly I believe it really helps both of us out.

6. Tell the truth

There is no reason to lie to someone when you possibly will be living with them. They are going to figure out all of your flaws and basically everything there is to know about so there is absolutely no need to lie to try to impress them. If you are a messy person, don’t tell them you always have your room cleaned. Also, if you have a significant other or close friends that plans to come up often, PLEASE tell them. Being honest with them will not only help them decide if they want to live with you but it will also cause them to be honest back so you know if you would do well living with them.

7. Don't live with someone you went to high school with

Of course, stay friends with the people you went to high school with but I highly suggest not living with them if you plan to attend the same college. College is new, it should not be a carried on version of your high school life. It is a time for you to make new friends and try new things but if you are hanging around your room with an old high school buddy you probably won't be putting yourself out there as much. Also, it is easier to get into arguments because you have been together much, much longer. {BUT, this is just my opinion}

I have no doubts that you have heard plenty of roommate horror stories and to be honest, most of them are probably true. Please, please remember that while you are in search of your first college roommate that this is not a process to take lightly. This person has the power to make or break your first year of college and they could even have the power to make you want to transfer. This person is also going to be the face you see after a really bad or good day, they will be the person who can identify if something is wrong with you before anyone else, they will see you at your weirdest, darkest and happiest moments and they will be the one who wipes your tears and offers open arms whenever you need… so pick wisely.

And to be honest, I can’t guarantee that you will find your perfect match by following these tips but I can tell you that you will at least have a good story to tell that than a horror story.

……Good Luck!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Marcus

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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An Open Letter To My Youngest Self

From, the young adult finding comfort in the past while lost in the present.

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Dear future big person,

Speaking from experience, the world is a crazy place. It's sad, yet exciting to know what the future holds for you. The world has been taken over by devices and electronics most never thought were possible.

If you're wondering why I'm writing to you, it's because I care a lot more now than I did back when I was you. I'm your Marty McFly, here to tell you how to prepare for the future. (Don't ask me what that reference is –you figure it out!).

For starters, let's talk about this technology thing. Gameboys, Nintendo DS', Wiis, Xboxes –don't mess with them. Television is fine –if the people from the Cold War survived it, we can, too. I want you to spend time enjoying the real world, not the electronic, fake one.

I want you to go outside and sit in the grass, pick those dandelions and mash them up into "paint." Paint mom something nice and maybe go for a bike ride with dad. Catch lightning bugs at dusk and bottle them all up in a mason jar. Eventually, let them free, all together.

Your brother is gross and weird, but he actually turns out to be a pretty cool kid. You don't have to be all mushy with him, but be sure he knows you love him. After all, he is family.

Make friends in the neighborhood, even if they are boys. So what? Challenge them. Race them on your bike with awesome purple and white streamers drifting from the handlebars. Push hard, through the soles of your Sketchers covered feet.

Pick up a piece of chalk and create a world of your own world with 3,000 Toys R Us stores, one police station, and only a few stop signs. Create and color your own flowers, whether they actually exist or not. Let your imagination run wild!

Turn on the radio and dance like crazy! Scream the lyrics to Smashmouth's "All Star" and Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape." Change the station every now and then to hear something new; it's always interesting to see your reactions to these interesting creations.

I want you to wear what you feel like and don't care what the others say about you. If you want to wear your purple dress-up shoes with your matching purse and hat, then do it. If you want to wear a Hula skirt in the dead of winter, do it (but please bring some leggings so mom doesn't flip out). If you want to wear those bedazzled jeans, then rock 'em.

If you're wondering why I'm telling you to do these silly things, it's only because we lost these traits along the way. I don't want you to miss the experiences that only come from the natural world because you had your head stuck in a tablet; it will all pass you in the blink of an eye.

I don't want you to ever feel trapped inside your house, no matter the weather. There is always a way out.

Don't let other people stop you from getting something you want. Don't let them intimidate you or talk you out of something you are passionate about.

Your friends will be the people you escape to when the house seems inescapable. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.

Your imagination is one of the greatest gifts you'll ever have. It drives you –your hopes and dreams, your wishes in the fountain and your kisses to the dandelions. Don't ever stop chasing them.

Always, always do what you want to do. You sing karaoke to that super catchy song because you know you'll kill it. Wear what you want however you want because you know that you look good in some strange way. (As long as you're not naked, that is). Stubbornness is good.

Your family will always be your family. What they do affects you, and vice versa. Bring them good, positive news. They don't need any more trouble.

Stand up for yourself, for your friends and family, for your beliefs and wishes. Be proud of the work you do and the life you live. Many people around you wish they could have lived like you did.

Most importantly, do not let your past define your future. A lot of things will happen, some of which may or may not go horribly wrong. There is nothing you can do to stop these things, except hope. You can always change for the better as long as you don't look back. Be proud of your past, but be known for your future –whatever you want that to be.

Please, promise me these things. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to never lose these traits –hold them tightly and never release them. I can't tell you how this life is going to go, because that simply isn't the way this world works. Just breathe through it and listen to your gut –that's the future guiding you.

I, and many others, love you –your character, your curls, your studded jeans,your pink Power Ranger costume, your Hello Kitty backpack, and your goofy smile.

Don't ever forget that.

With love,

The Girl Who Is Lost And Trying To Turn Back Time.

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