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!