Choosing Your Future Roommates

Despite what you may believe, having your college select your roommates freshmen year is a secret blessing. It may feel like playing the lottery, but most colleges use surveys in order to best match students. Still, you will eventually have to decide who you’ll be rooming with after freshman year, but this decision may catch you by surprise. Don’t let this important choice be a hassle!

Not Too Soon or Too Late

Look, you may think you have found your best friends in first few weeks of school and even more shocking, you might be right. But take your time selecting potential roommate candidates. If you make an agreement early in the year, you might realize there not exactly who you think they are. I can tell you from personal experience, I jumped the gun a bit too quickly and ended up rooming with a few guys that I didn’t actually end up hanging out with very often freshman year. Don’t make any decisions before the last 1/3 of the year, but don’t wait until the beginning of summer to start having a discussion with potential roommates because they’ll likely have already found a place with someone else.

Beware of Old Friends

That’s right, while every fiber of your being may be telling you that your best friend in high school would make the perfect roommate, don’t be so sure. A common mistake students make is rooming with an old friend. If you decide to share a space with a long time friend you run the risk of jeopardizing a valuable friendship. You might learn things about him or her that you would have never known (like their inability to do a single dish) and this can really hurt a relationship. Sometimes a little bit of separation is good for friendships you want to last. Also, it can be difficult setting boundaries and rules with some one who has known you for a long time. People get set in certain ways and they may not realize that you are not free to talk all night long like you used to back in the day.

Less is More

There more people you try to share a space with, the more difficult the entire process becomes. For each roommate added you increase the amount of coordination needed in order to get everyone together and agreeing on a specific living situation. With more roommates, you can expect to make more compromises. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but something to keep in mind. On top of that, you will find yourself with little time alone when you’re living with three or four other friends. For some people, this may be a bonus, but for others it might mean torture. As a general rule, you can be sure that getting along with one other person will be easier than with four. Of course, that’s not say there’s no added benefits of living with multiple roommates, just consider that there are more challenges associated with sharing a living space with more students.

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.

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