Whether you are transitioning from high school, or looking for somewhere new to live this semester, learning to live with a college roommate is an experience you’ll never forget. Who you decide to live with during your years at college can significantly impact you in more ways than one. According to an article published by the NY Times, studies show the roommates you are paired with in college can affect everything from academic performance to freshman weight gain.
In order to make the most out of your experience, use your best judgement about the qualities and type of person that would be the best possible fit for you. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect roommate but here are a few important things to consider:
Find Shared Hobbies
One of the easiest ways to find common ground with someone is through shared hobbies and interests. If you are involved in sports, sororities, academic groups, workout classes etc.--try recruiting roommates from those groups. It’s fun to live with people who enjoy doing the same things you do. For example, you are both nursing majors and share the same class schedule or you both enjoy going to the same workout classes every week. Commonalities such as these can really strengthen the bond between you and your roomie. Also, it’s a huge plus if you both are on the same schedule.
Habits of College Roommates
Sharing daily habits with who you will be living with can end up being a deal breaker--unless you are super laid back. Do you tend to stay up super late, or are you an early riser? Do you consider yourself to be on the messy side? Be honest with yourself and future roommate. While you might think these tendencies won’t bother you, if your roommate is loud and keeps you up every night, you might have a problem. The best advice is to be upfront and honest about your habits from day one. That way, you’ll both know what to expect from each other and can hopefully strike a workable balance by setting boundaries.
Consider “Going Random”
The horror stories of random roommates gives the experience a bad rap- there are many benefits to “going random” in your college roommate search. Some colleges are actually doing away with allowing students to pre-select their roommates altogether--stating that random roommates can present many benefits. According to an article published by the Washington Post, Duke’s Vice President for student affairs wrote that while pre-selecting roommates may make the transition seem somewhat easier, it actually can work against having the best educational and social experiences in the long term. Students are not given the opportunity to learn new perspectives and get outside of their comfort zone--which they will ultimately face in the adult world. By choosing to go random for a college roommate, you could meet someone that you never would have.
Whether you decide to choose your college roommate, or go random, your mindset going into it is everything. No one is perfect and the beauty of your college years is you don’t have to be. Make an effort to build a relationship with whomever you are paired with. Even if your living situation is less than ideal, at least be cordial and try to make the most of it. Of course there will always be instances where two people living together doesn’t work out--and that’s ok too. Just remember, never limit yourself. Get involved on campus and experience life outside your dorm/apartment too. You might meet your best friend--or future roommate!
At EPOCH Clemson student apartments, we offer individual leases and a wide variety of floor plans-- which means you can select the number of roommates that is right for you and have your own locking bedroom with private bathroom. If it doesn’t work out with your roommate(s) and they move out mid-semester, you won’t be held responsible for their portion of the lease. (Phew!)