From bed to bunk; a quick guide on college roommates

     With the majority of college decisions out and students beginning to commit to schools, it might seem like the grind for our next stage of life is over. And for the most part, it is! From here on, all you have to worry about is putting down deposits and taking last-minute tours of campus, but there’s one thing that isn’t a simple interaction with machinery: roommates. 


     While it’s inevitable that you’re going to meet fellow freshmen at your college before the semester starts, finding someone to agree to live with you for a year is an obstacle on its own. Thankfully, the process has gotten easier with technology, so if you’re scrambling to find a potential roommate, here’s a crash course! 


     First, check for student-run social media accounts dedicated to introducing the class of ‘25 going to your college. Not only are they a database on rising students coupled with individual biographies, they usually advertise a group chat where you can talk with other students and meet those who have yet to post on the account. Whether it’s GroupMe or Patio, you’ll be able to get a feel for your new classmates, and interact with them online, something especially important during a pandemic. 


     Furthermore, some schools provide their own roommate search feature. The University of Georgia (UGA) hosts the Dawg House, a housing site that allows you to create a roommate profile and connect with other students. After filling out survey questions, UGA will match you with candidates based on how close percentage-wise their answers are with yours. Kennesaw State has a similar process for students looking for roommates off-campus. RoomSurf is another site unaffiliated with any colleges but does the same in terms of finding someone to live with based on your university. 


     Plan C is always just asking around! There might be kids from your high school or even close friends going to the same college that might be roommate material. However, many advise avoiding rooming with friends you’ve known for a while as it may be harder to confront them over issues in favor of keeping the friendship steady. If you do end up dorming with your best friend, just remember to communicate; not all friends turned roommates turn to complete disasters, so it’s not a total no-no. It just puts the pressure on for being open with each other!


     So, you find someone who shares your interests and is also looking for a roommate, what now? If you want, you can do a couple rounds of small talk to get a feel for the person, or you can cut straight to the chase: could you live with them? 


     Does this potential roommate like the room warmer or cooler? How many alarms do they need to wake up? Do they have any immediate dealbreakers? These questions along with many more are crucial in getting to know what you want in a roommate. 


     Questions I suggest

  • When do you go to bed/when do you wake up?
  • How clean or messy are you?
  • Do you like to play music out loud while studying?
  • Do you need a noise machine to go to sleep?
  • What’s your policy on guests?


     Even if you connect completely with someone on how they want to live, you still need to figure out where. Most colleges have one dorm building that all the freshmen yearn for, but it might not have facilities surrounding it that you or your roommate might want. For example, one side of campus may house more sororities and fraternities, making it a rowdier area to live in, while the other is notorious for having a quieter community. It all depends on preference.


     If you’re someone who just wants a strict roommate relationship, you’re all set from here. However, if you’re interested in really getting close with who you live with, you might actually want to go back to small talk. There’s a couple of methods to familiarize yourself with someone and their personality. 


     The most obvious process is taking the time to get to know them over text. Most Georgia colleges require you to choose a roommate by summer, so there’s no need to rush conversations. Asking potential roommates about their music taste, what shows they watch, and their sense of style helps you get to know them and them get to know you.


     Questions I suggest

  • What’s on your bucket list?
  • What do you look for most in a friend?
  • What’s one place you’ve always wanted to visit?
  • What’s your personality type?
  • Who do you look up to?


     If you want something a little more straightforward, create a google doc to share with potential roommates and turn it into a casual survey. As you both fill out answers and jot down questions, you and your roommate can comment on each other’s answers within the doc, allowing you to get close with one another in an organized space.


     Finally, you know how a common first date includes going to the movies, so you can feel less awkward scrambling for conversation starters? Take that logic, and apply it to your roommates. Obviously, being stuck in a pandemic hinders that specific idea, but that doesn’t mean there are no other forms of entertainment. Sites like Buzzfeed and UQuiz host a variety of personality quizzes that you and your roommate can take together and laugh over results. If you both have a Netflix subscription, you can show each other movies and shows you obsess over on Netflix party.


     When it comes down to it, finding a roommate is just a simple process where it’s socially acceptable to ask if someone snores within the first hour of knowing them. Take the time to learn how you like to live at home, so dorming in college isn’t too foreign, roommate or not. Remember, everyone you talk to is going through the same growing up crisis, so don’t be afraid to get comfortable quickly.