Written by Nicole Scopelliti | Photo by Sierra Pedro
Finding, choosing and keeping a roommate can be as stressful as moving itself. However, roommate experiences don’t have to be unpleasant, despite the various horror stories that have convinced you otherwise. Connecting with your perfect roommate does, however, require hard work and dedication. With the right tools and strategies, the potential frustration of the process can be avoided and you can move on to happy housemate bliss.
Begin your search by looking in the right places. For example, I recommend reaching out to friends to see if they know anyone also embarking on the roommate search; although it may be tempting to live with your closest friends, it’s not always the best idea, as living with your best friends will undoubtedly transform the dynamics of your friendship, sometimes for better, but often for worse. Try making a post on Craigslist or on one of the various housing classifieds on Facebook. When posting on public forums and contacting potential roommates, always remember to speak with honesty and intention. It’s vital to state exactly what you’re looking for in a potential roommate and what your expectations are. Remain open-minded, and unless you’re facing a tight deadline, don’t settle.
If you’re looking to avoid the roommate search all together, inquire with your leasing office to see if the complex has its own roommate matching service. Some of the most popular student apartments with this service include Ducks Village, Hub On Campus, 2125 Franklin and 13th and Olive.
After endless hours spent scrolling through dodgy Craigslist ads, you have found what seems to be the perfect potential candidate. Great! To confirm your positive speculations, prepare questions to ask, such as:
- What are you looking for in a potential roommate?
- Do you prioritize cleanliness and organization in your living space?
- What are your study habits like?
- What does your daily routine look like?
- How do you feel about overnight guests?
- Do you have a significant other?
- What does your ideal weekend look like?
- Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert?
- Describe your sense of style in three words.
It’s ideal to share similar living habits with your potential roommate in order to avoid unnecessary conflict. However, it can be problematic if you choose your roommate solely on what interests and hobbies you share. If you choose someone who, like you, is a Medieval Studies major and has an unhealthy obsession with playing shuffleboard, you might not have much opportunity to venture out of your comfort zone. College is an opportune time to discover and cultivate your interests, to grow as an individual and to interact with diverse groups of people. Don’t let a poor roommate experience stifle this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once you have found the right match, complete a roommate agreement on the next page. Happy hunting!