Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Roommate

By Brittany Loeffler on January 16, 2017

One of the best things about college is living with a roommate. A roommate is someone who you can experience college firsts with, like your first party, exam, heartbreak, etc. It’s important to put a lot of thought into who you are going to live with for the next year, because if you happen to choose a bad roommate, it can affect your experience for the rest of the year.

By Tulane Public Relations (Roommates Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Get to Know Yourself

Before even thinking about what kind of roommate you want to have, get to know yourself first. In order to pick a roommate you will get along with you must recognize your living habits.

Ask yourself some questions:

•Am I a night person or a morning person?

•Do I want my room or apartment to be the social hub where everyone hangs out?

•Do I want my living space to be quiet?

•Am I clean? Is being clean a priority for me?

•Am I possessive of my belongings or can I share them?

•Do I like to stay home or be out and about?

If you’re having trouble thinking of how you live, try keeping a log for a week of what you do when you are home. Review the log and you’ll find the answers to most of these questions.

Expectations

Figure out what kind of relationship you want with your roommate. Do you want a roommate that is your best friend? Do you want to do everything together? Or, do you want someone you interact with only occasionally? Both of these preferences are completely normal.

If you are thinking about rooming with a friend from high school or even a close friend you have met in college, be careful. Sometimes living with a friend can ruin your friendship depending on how the other party lives.

via Pixabay.com

Roommate Qualities

After getting to know yourself and what kind of relationship you want with your roommate, start making a list of important qualities you want in a roommate.

You want a reliable roommate. Make sure you can count on them to pay their rent on time, to pay you for utilities if the bill is in your name, and to share house responsibilities with you.

Do you want a roommate that is the life of the party or someone who keeps to herself? Your temperaments should work well together. The saying “opposites attract” isn’t the best thing to use when choosing a roommate.

Finding a Roommate

Now comes the hard part; searching for a roommate. Most colleges and universities have a system of matching incoming freshman with roommates, but some give you the option to find a roommate on your own. If you have to find your own roommate, here are some good sites to go to.

Uloop

Search for college roommates on Uloop!

RoomSurf

This website helps college students looking for other students at their school to room with.

EasyRoommate and Roommates.com

These websites are good if you are just graduating college and moving to another city or if you are moving off campus.

Facebook Groups

A lot of colleges and universities have Facebook groups for each incoming class. Post in the group letting people know you’re looking for a roommate. Put a short description of yourself and what you are looking for in a roommate.

Questions to Ask a Potential Roommate

Once you find a few people interested in living with you, interview them and see if it’s a match! Here is a list of some important questions to ask a potential roommate. Make sure to have some common interests with a roommate before living together!

Some basic questions to ask are:

•How do you live now?

•Do you like to sleep late or wake up early?

•Do you like to go out on the weekends?

•Do you mind having people over?

Make sure you also give them answers to your questions so they get to know you as well.

If you like the answers to your questions and enjoy talking to your potential roommate, try to meet up with them in person. Go out for lunch or coffee and get a feel for them. People may seem very different in person than over the Internet.

Moving In

You’ve decided on a roommate and are now moving in together! It’s exciting and an opportunity to get to know someone new!

After about a week of living together, sit down and write a roommate agreement. This will be an agreement between you and your roommate about chores, the noise level, utility payments, etc. It’s important to get this in writing and have both of you sign it.

You can find some examples and templates of roommate agreements at Template Lab and from this sample.

Communication is Key

This can’t be stressed enough. Communication is extremely important when living with a roommate. Nobody likes a passive aggressive roommate. Make sure you can talk to your roommate about an issue and work it out with them.

Best of luck on finding your perfect roommate in 2017!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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