Starting college is hard work. Handling everything, from planning your schedule to settling in a dorm room, is a real challenge. However, one more thing to worry about: finding the right roommate can be a pretty hard task. Let’s be honest; we all have heard stories about bad roomies, uncomfortable communication, and how hard it is to find a perfect match. In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how to find a roommate for college.
How to Find a Roommate for College?
Most commonly, the question “How to find a college roommate?” usually occurs if you can’t afford to rent your own place where you’ll have all the benefits of privacy. Depending on your situation, you will either share a dorm room provided by your school or rent an apartment/house where you can have as many roommates as you wish. Both options have their pros and cons.
How Many Roommates Do You Have in College?
Most commonly, you’ll either live in a single-room dorm or share the dorm with two or three other people. If you are a freshman, you are most likely to have one roommate. In your second and later years, you can have more roommates, but it’s not common. If your budget allows you to purchase a single, you are in luck. If you choose to live in a suite or an on-campus apartment, you may have more than one roommate. A suit-style housing usually presupposes that you’ll have one or two roommates and up to seven suitemates altogether.
Where to Find a Roommate?
There are several options you can use to find a roommate. Here are the ones we recommend:
Ask Your Friends (and Friends of Friends)
It’s ideal to have a friend as a roommate; however, you don’t always go to the same college your friends do. So to minimize the risks of sharing a dorm room with someone you don’t like, ask your friends about their friends. Perhaps, they can recommend someone who’s in the same situation. Chances are you’ll find someone with similar tastes and habits; however, keep in mind that you may never develop a real friendship with your roommate. And frankly speaking, it’s quite all right.
Ask Your Parents’ Friends
This recommendation may sound strange, but your parents’ friends have kids, too. So it’s only natural that they may go to college, and they can make great roommates. Anyway, don’t sweep aside this option right away!
How to find a roommate in a new city? Search the most popular student resources for finding roommates: RoomieMatch, Diggz, and Roommates. If you don’t know anyone in a new place, an online search is really helpful, as you can reach out to many people who’re e exactly in the same situation.
Make a Post on Social Media
You most probably have a social media page. Therefore, you can use it to find a roommate. Make a post where you describe yourself and your situation and what you are looking for in a roommate. You can also ask your friends to share your post so that more people can see it. If you already have a place in mind, you can share the information about rent and other expenses. We are sure you’ll get plenty of candidates in no time.
Check What Dorms on Campus Offer
It’s a norm for first-year students to live on campus. Rather, most schools require such an arrangement as a must. Some schools don’t even give their students a chance to choose roommates. Therefore, you can look at how dorms in your school are run in advance.
College Roommate Tips
Once you’ve found a couple of potential roommates, you may take a few steps before moving in.
Interview Your Potential Roommate
First, we recommend you arrange an interview with your future roommate(s) to understand if you are a good match. If you’ve found a potential roommate online, set up a video call. If you live close by, you can meet in person. All in all, you need to discuss a few essential points to agree upon, such as
📅 Your overall routines and schedules
🧹 Cleanness and tidying-up
🐾 Pets or no pets
🧑🤝🧑 Friends and visitors
🍾 Smoking and alcohol
🤝🏻 Things you both can and can’t tolerate
Sign College Roommate Agreement
Secondly, if you are satisfied with the interview and your potential roommate, we recommend signing an agreement. There, you can address all the household and cooperation issues. While it won’t be any official document, it’ll help you keep things straight. You’ll always be able to refer to it in case of a problem. Here is what your agreement can cover:
💵 Utility bills
🤫 Privacy and quiet hours
🎉 Party times and visitors
🧹 Household chores
🍲 Food sharing
🚚 Early move-out scenarios
The Bottom Line
College is a great time where you can make many new friends, and some of them may be among your college roommates. It is also possible that as a freshman, you will have to share a room with a stranger, and things won’t work out. We hope that, in any case, you do your best to coexist. Just keep in mind that no housing assignment lasts longer than a year, so you can always find a new roommate.