College Roommate Survey

Going into my first year of college I know that I was super nervous about work, grades, making new friends, the freshman 15 and even dorm life.

Dorm life especially can be quite stressful upon the incoming freshman when thinking about dining hall food quality, getting sick and public bathrooms.

The most stressful part of dorm life, however, is the college roommate.

The person(s) you get for a college roommate is an important thing to consider because this is the person or people you’re going to be sharing a room with for an entire year – which means that their habits and personal qualities have to be at least tolerable.

A bad roommate can definitely hurt your experiences as a first-timer in college. Don’t let that happen! A college roommate can also become one of your best friends in school and wouldn’t that be nice?

Personally, I know several different people who are now in the second semester of their junior year and their best friend is still the person they roomed with freshman year.

Obviously, if you’re stuck with a bad roommate, I guess you can always switch but that option is always a hassle and usually ends up with you moving to a completely new location in a bad room, in a bad dorm and away from all your friends.

Now is the time to start thinking about the different qualities you’d value in a roommate and the ones you wouldn’t be able to handle for a year. Here is a college roommate survey about all the qualities of a bad roommate and it’s your chance to check off the things that you wouldn’t be able to tolerate.

College Roommate Survey: What Makes for a Bad Roommate?

1.  Bad Hygiene. Doesn’t shower much, wear deodorant or wash hands after leaving the bathroom.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______ 

2. Messy. Doesn’t clean up their bowls, plates, or food wrappers right after they use them and leaves them out for a few days. Doesn’t like to pick up their clothes. Their side of the room is never clean and they never make their bed.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______ 

3. Insensitive. They play loud music or watch TV when you’re trying to study or do homework. They always turn the TV on for a show they like to watch but not one that you like to watch. They turn the lights on in the room when you’re sleeping or taking a nap. They’re very noisy when getting ready for school in the morning or coming back late at night when you’re sleeping.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______ 

4. Obnoxious Social Life. They bring friends to the room that you don’t like or trust. Their friends are too noisy and don’t let you study. They bring their friends to the room and you never have the chance to bring yours. They always come back really late at night from going out with friends.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______  

5. Inappropriate Behavior. They like to have their boyfriend/girlfriend over all the time. You feel like your roommate never gives you much privacy. They may have social activities with friends that should never be done in a dorm room. They even might lock you out because they want to be alone with a boyfriend/girlfriend.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______  

6. Politeness. They seem to purposefully ignore you even if you ask a question or maybe the opposite; they are always following you and breathing down your neck, so-to-speak. They do things to annoy you. They’re rude to you. Maybe they use your things without asking. They bring friends to the room or change the room around without your permission. You’re very willing to share a bunch of your things but they aren’t willing to share anything.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______  

7. Bad Habits. They may be someone who smokes cigarettes and therefore smell themselves and make everything else smell like cigarettes.

In a range of 1-10 how much would this bother you?   _______   

Now, go through the list on this college roommate survey and label (out of 1-10) how much all these qualities and habits would bother you. This should tell you a lot about the kind of college roommate you do or do not want.

Looking through the list should also make you think about something else: would you be a good roommate?

Ever heard of the Golden Rule? Or maybe the saying “Do unto others?”

Or perhaps the full phrase, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”.

Any nice habit or valued quality you’d expect to have in a good roommate should be the same kind of habit or quality they should expect to have from you.

Go through the list and think about if you’d do any of the things found on the college roommate survey and perhaps consider the fact that maybe this possible college roommate you will have or do have wouldn’t tolerate some of the things in this list.

If you want something from someone, especially a roommate, remember that you must always reciprocate that. Otherwise, you have no right to complain. Politeness and good habits never go unappreciated.

A lot of schools give students a smaller, less detailed college roommate survey about the kind of person they are and what they don’t like which helps the school get a better idea of what would be a good match for you as a college roommate.

Make sure to be very clear about what you can and can not tolerate on your college roommate survey because once you’re stuck with that roommate there isn’t really any easy way to get out of that arrangement.

Just discover what you can deal with and that should be good enough. Your roommate(s) doesn’t have to become your best friend, but you certainly don’t want to make your dorm room an uncomfortable place to be. Dorm life can be awesome and with that alone, it can make for an awesome freshman year!

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Nina Reichenberg, a junior at Syracuse University spent her first two years in the Communications Design Program but is now currently working towards a degree in Computer Art & Animation. Whilst at school, Nina spends most of her time animating, watching films, and working as a design intern at SYR Outside of SU, she enjoys traveling, singing, dancing, spending time outside and collecting thimbles.

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