Image courtesy of David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Brianna Pennella, Student at Ithaca College
Here’s the breakdown: Most incoming freshmen dread the prospect of a random roommate. The idea that you could end up with the kid who hangs salami in the closet or the one who stays up all night playing the banjo can make anyone anxious.
Despite this, college is a time to embark on new experiences and to meet new people. The best approach to selecting a roommate is to be open minded but to also follow this advice.
Tip 1: Research Themed Dorms
A good place to start is with themed dorm options. If your campus offers any option from a freshmen-only building to sustainability-conscious floors, look into it.
Living with or around people who share your interests and values increases the chances of finding a roommate, even at random, whom you’ll get along with. Not to mention, it’s also a fast way to make friends and can get you involved with the school from day one.
Tip 2: Find a Familiar Face
Another popular option is to room with someone you meet before school starts. Maybe it’s at orientation or on your school’s social networking site, but no matter what, a familiar face may be a comfort. If you two really hit it off, it might be a match for four years.
Even though you may feel connected from the start, be mindful of branching out and meeting even more people and not just chatting up those you already are acquainted with.
Tip 3: Fill in the Blanks
Make sure you fill out your roommate questionnaires. Silly as some may seem, little things like what time you prefer to go to bed, how you like to study and your feelings on smoking can make a big difference in your comfort level with your living situation.
Many schools take these things seriously and use them to appropriately match people together so that they get the best experience. You can even have a little fun with it and share your hobbies and interests.
Tip 4: Anything Goes!
Your last option is to go in blind. While this sounds scary, you just might make a best friend. With the endless possibilities you’ll encounter in college, why not dive in headfirst and have the most exciting kind?
Many of my peers met lifelong friends through random rooming. While this is not always the case, it’s worth trying if you’re the adventurous type. And remember, any living situation can be changed if it truly becomes a problem, so there’s no need to feel trapped or concerned.
So, get out there and get involved. Look into what your school offers and be open to making friends you never thought you could have had!