Choosing a dorm roommate can be hectic, to say the least. Meeting someone new is exciting, you can potentially make a lifelong friend. However, it can also be frustrating if you don’t have much in common with your roommate or if your living habits conflict. Additionally, if it’s your first time living away from home, the whole experience can be a little unnerving.
You may not get to control who you get paired with because the process of who you are matched with typically depends on your university. You can control how you answer the roommate preference questionnaire and it’s crucial that you answer honestly.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when trying to find the best dorm roommate possible. Here are my 5 tips…
1. Start With Your Friends
If you have friends who are going to the same college as you, consider rooming with them. You already know each other, so you have a good foundation to build on. This recommendation also comes with a big caution, just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you’ll be compatible roommates. Make sure to discuss your living habits and expectations before you commit to rooming together.
2. Join Your University Or Colleges Social Media Pages
Most colleges have social media accounts where students can connect. Many times they have accounts for incoming freshmen. Use these sites to ask questions and get to know other students. With any luck, you will be able to share interests and get a feel for personalities. This will help you create a preference.
3. Attend Roommate Fairs Or Events
Many colleges hold roommate fairs or events where you can meet potential roommates in person. This is a great way to meet a possible roommate, see if you have a connection, and ask each other questions.
Trust your gut. If you have a good feeling about someone, go with your gut. Even if you don’t check all the boxes on your roommate checklist, if you feel like you’ll get along, that’s what matters most.
“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; it is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.” ― Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
4. Honesty Is The Best Policy
Be honest and upfront about your expectations. When you’re filling out the questionnaire, be honest about your living habits and expectations. This includes things like your sleep schedule, study habits, cleanliness, and noise level. The more upfront you are, the less likely you are to have any surprises down the road.
Also, I have known many students whose parents have completed their questionnaires. Parents, I caution you not to do this because it can result in your student being paired up with someone they aren’t compatible with. The student needs to complete this questionnaire to get the best results.
5. Don’t Forget To Ask Questions
You and your dorm roommate will likely spend a lot of time together. It’s important to get to know this person before you’re living together to ensure that if you are living together you can do so respectfully. Lifestyle differences can be complicated to overcome.
If you are preparing for your first year of college and will be living in a dorm How To Prepare For Living With College Roommates In A Dorm has some tips to help you get ready.
Here are some of the most important questions to ask yourself and your potential college dorm roommate to help you choose if you would be a good fit:
- Sleep schedule: Do you like to go to bed early or late? Do you snore? Are you a light sleeper that requires white noise or can you sleep through anything?
- Cleanliness: How clean are you? How clean do you expect your roommate to be?
- Noise level: Are you a night owl or an early bird? Do you like to listen to music or watch TV loudly?
- Study habits: Do you intend to study in your dorm room or in the library? Do you need a quiet environment to study? Are you willing to be reasonably quiet if your roommate is studying?
- Social habits: Are you a social butterfly or a homebody? Do you like to have people over or do you prefer to keep to yourself?
- Interests: Do you have any shared interests? Do you like to watch the same TV shows or listen to the same music?
- Lifestyle: Do you drink, smoke, or do drugs? Are you comfortable if your roommate who may do these things?
Who your dorm roommate is can have a significant impact on your life and your education. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a compatible roommate who will make your college experience more enjoyable.