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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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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